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April 14, 2011

SAN BRUNO, Calif. --- To kick off the 2011 West Coast Conference Tennis Championships, presented by the Andre Agassi Foundation for Education, WCC men's and women's tennis players and coaches will be hosting the WCC Youth Tennis Festival, in partnership with Harper for Kids, on Wednesday, April 20 at the Barnes Tennis Center in San Diego, CA.

"Our goal as a conference is to include a meaningful community service activity as part of each of our West Coast Conference championships," said WCC Commissioner Jamie Zaninovich. "Hosting the WCC Youth Tennis Festival gets us closer to that goal, and we hope that with our partnership with Harper for Kids, we are able to positively affect the San Diego community, which has graciously welcomed our student-athletes these last three years."

The festival is a free, hour-long event and is open to all kids between the ages of 6-12, and is not limited to those with a tennis background. Along with learning some basic tennis skills, kids will also learn about the same principles taught at the Coach Wooden for Kids Inch and Miles Sportsmanship Festivals, administered by Harper for Kids, such as hard work, 100% effort, sportsmanship and cooperation.

"We are very excited to team up with the WCC," said Tim and Peanut Harper, Co-Founders of Harper for Kids. "This is a strong partnership that will help us educate children on what it takes to be successful in life, to be a good sport and to always give 100% effort, using Coach Wooden's Pyramid of Success and his Sportsmanship Pledge. It is a great opportunity for us to get kids thinking about this at an early age."

In addition to educational component, kids will also have the opportunity to fully interact with coaches and tennis players from the conference and be able to play tennis games with some of the conference's best. Kids will then be invited to join the players and coaches at the participant BBQ later that evening.

"I think the WCC, more than other conferences, has deliberately empowered the coaches and student-athletes to give back to the community," said University of San Francisco Head Men's Tennis Coach Peter Bartlett. "Each year they challenge us, ask the bigger questions about our program, and create wonderful community-based events in conjunction with our WCC Tennis Championships. We are excited to assist in spreading the word about the `Pyramid of Success' and how it can teach young people how to become their very best."

Sign-ups for the WCC Youth Tennis Festival at the Barnes Tennis Center are still open. If your child is interested in participating, please contact Stef Ordoveza at sordoveza@westcoast.org or by phone at 650-873-8622.

West Coast Conference
The West Coast Conference was formed in 1952 and has evolved and grown to become a nationally recognized and competitive force in Division I intercollegiate athletics, with 13 conference-sponsored sports: baseball, men's and women's basketball, women's crew, men's and women's cross country, men's and women's golf, men's and women's soccer, men's and women's tennis and women's volleyball. The WCC is characterized by the stability of its membership - only two conferences have been together longer - and its unique emphasis on combining excellence in athletics with excellence in academics.

Harper for Kids
Harper for Kids (HFK) organization was founded by Tim and Peanut Harper in 2008. The mission of Harper for Kids is to teach children the important life skills that will empower them to achieve their personal best in life. Our vision is that HFK enrichment programs will help children develop good character and inspire the adults in the children's lives to be good role models of important core, ethical values and help foster a healthy community. www.harperforkids.org