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First Ace[R] welcomes Grants applications from 12 handball programs.

The USHA annually solicits First Ace Grants for funding junior and collegiate handball projects. These grants provide seed money to help start new handball programs and help supplement continuing programs throughout the year. Grants are submitted by the December 20th deadline at the end of each year and are reviewed by the Board of Directors. Any certified instructor, director of a recognized youth service organization or school educator interested in starting and maintaining a program may submit a proposal. Awards are based on availability of funds and eyeguards are required for all programs. The following 12 handball programs submitted grant requests for 2014:

ACES, Inc.--New York, NY

Academy for Comprehensive Excellence and Scholarship (ACES) is a scholarship program geared toward rewarding students who play NYC Handball and plan to continue their education after high school. Handball clinics are held throughout the boroughs of NYC to give the students the opportunity to hone their athletic skills under expert guidance.

Costigan Youth Handball--Denver, CO

Costigan Youth Handball is the youth development arm of the Colorado Handball Association. Its mission is to introduce, promote and develop youth, junior and collegiate handball in Colorado.

The primary emphasis for this year is to introduce handball in elementary, middle and high school PE classes with follow up "out of school" programs for those students who want to continue with handball and improve their skill level.

The secondary emphasis is to promote collegiate handball through existing and new programs, and encourage participation in junior tournaments at the local and national levels.

El Paso Youth Handball--El Paso, TX

El Paso Youth Handball continues to develop and introduce the sport of handball to local youth. The goal is to keep the players organized and to provide a central location for weekly play and participation. In addition to play days, EPYH conducts clinics and takes new players to local and national tournaments.

Fred Lewis Foundation for Youth Handball --Tucson, AZ

The Mission Statement of The FLF is "To Enrich the Lives of Children Through the Sport of Handball And Related Activities." By giving children the opportunity to play handball, the Foundation will help them in their quest to live healthier and happier for the rest of their lives. In addition, the children will be introduced to activities that will foster lifelong friendships and camaraderie through handball.

Handball Youth of Portland--Portland, OR

The Handball Youth of Portland plans to introduce and develop youth handball by starting a program at the Lloyd Athletic Club. They hope to encourage the new players to eventually participate in local leagues and play in tournaments.

L.A.C.E.R.--Los Angeles, CA

Literacy, Arts, Culture, Education & Recreation offers students an after-school handball program at the Washington Irving Middle School Three-Wall Courts. The program provides high-quality instruction, workshops and competition opportunities throughout each school year and serves as a liason to bring kids to local and regional handball tournaments.

Michigan State Handball- E. Lansing, MI

A program that offers handball classes as a recreational activity and last fall was added as a course for credit! MSU handball integrates college players into the the local handball leagues and tournaments. The goal is to increase club participation and develop new handball players for life.

Success4Kids--Phoenix, AZ

This program has been reestablished by founder Ken Dannenbaum. Their goal is to build youth handball programs at local recreation centers and to organize and run handball club-based competitions, and hold at least one intermural competition and a year-end championship, primarily in the Phoenix Union High School District.

TGOP (Franklin Elem.)--Santa Barbara, CA

Taking the Good Out of People is a handball program based at Franklin Elementary School in Santa Barbara. The goal is to introduce, promote and develop handball throughout the schools, parks and activity centers in Santa Barbara. Past participants have become certified instructors and are helping teach handball to new students.

University of Washington Handball Club --Seattle, WA

This program offers a handball class through the recreational classes offered at the University of Washington. Through visibility at the Rec Center and through campus activities, the goal is to recruit new handball players to join the handball club. A tournament is held after each quarter's class, and players from Western Washington University are invited to compete.

University of West Florida Handball Club --Pensacola, FL

This program was started by volunteer and certified handball instructor Joel Levy. After growing student participation over the past six years, their goal is to increase team involvement with the community, and to work with elementary and middle schools to promote handball on the campus of UWF.

Westside YMCA Henry Mellis Program --New York, NY

The Henry Mellis Program at the Westside YMCA offers handball clinics, play days and tournaments for youth handball players. Players can participate in one-wall and four-wall instruction and competition twice a week for 28 weeks. The program is open to YMCA members ages 12-18. Players can apply for free membership through the YMCA "Strong Kids" Program.

These summaries provide a small snapshot for these great programs. If you'd like more information about them, please contact Matt Krueger at or call 520-795-0434.
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Date:Feb 1, 2014
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