This summer hundreds of towns are staging a sports event unheard of and unimaginable 10 years ago, a well-organized and highly publicized regional tennis tournament for boys and girls. The purpose behind this is twofold: to encourage sports participation and to kindle in the highly gifted young athlete an interest in competitive tennis.
In Midland, Texas, a town that had no tennis court five years ago, 120 boys and girls turned out for its regional tournament. After two days of competition 17-year-old Jon Gottschall took the junior singles title and was posed proudly against Midland's skyline. Gottschall now gets a chance to compete in the Texas State tournament, with a hopeful eye on the nationals held Aug. 5-9 in Chapel Hill, N.C.
The tournaments are organized by the Junior Chamber of Commerce, a vigorous organization (4,000 local chapters) with the reputation of knowing how to translate a good cause into a successful plan of action. "What we are hoping for," says Jaycee Tennis Chairman Bill Talbert, "is that the next Willie Mays or Bob Mathias will turn to tennis as his sport."