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NATIONSBANK AND THE RICHMOND TENNIS PATRONS ASSOCIATION TEAM UP

 NATIONSBANK AND THE RICHMOND TENNIS PATRONS ASSOCIATION TEAM UP
 RICHMOND, Va., March 18 /PRNewswire/ -- NationsBank and the Richmond Tennis Patrons Association (RTPA) have teamed up to sponsor the city's largest tennis championship this May.
 With the addition of Futures and Novice divisions for junior participants and new Level Championships featuring Mens and Womens Singles and Doubles events, this expanded tournament promises to be the city's largest ever. Sanctioned by the United States Tennis Association (USTA), the tournament has been renamed the NationsBank Richmond Tennis Championship, and is slated for May 8 through June 7 at the Sam Woods Memorial Tennis Courts at Byrd Park.
 One of the most innovative changes for the 1992 tournament is the addition of the Novice Division for junior-level participants. This division is primarily for those ages 10-18 who have little tennis experience and will run concurrently with the Open and Futures Junior Tournaments May 15-22. There is no charge for the Novice event. In addition, the Open and Futures Junior Tournaments will be made available to more area youths through a "scholarship" program.
 "In keeping with the RTPA's mission to support the development of tennis for all citizens in the capital area, our organization and NationsBank will offer 25 scholarships to Richmond youths who would like to enter the Junior Tournament but cannot due to financial hardships," said Tom Vozenilek, RTPA vice president.
 The RTPA and NationsBank are also fueling a drive to collect old rackets through drop boxes around the Richmond area. Initial plans are to have these rackets re-strung and to provide them to any youth who does not have a racket, but wishes to participate in the tournament.
 "NationsBank is strongly committed to the Richmond community," said Randy McElroy, president of NationsBank of Virginia. "We are very excited about the opportunity to participate in what has been a long standing event in this area. And we are particularly excited about the opportunity to involve a broader base of Richmond youth in the tennis championships."
 The 1992 NationsBank Richmond Tennis Championships will introduce new Level Championships featuring Mens and Womens Singles and Doubles events. The Level Championships are based on a player's USTA rating. This will ensure participants compete with players of similar ability levels. "The RTPA is confident that the addition of the Level Championships will dramatically increase adult participation in the tournament," said Vozenilek.
 Another new event -- Family Championships -- is scheduled for Memorial Day Weekend, May 22-25. This event will feature team combinations such as Mother-Daughter or Father-Son. Plans are underway to make this a fun community event with entertainment, games, food and a professional exhibition match. Also, a Special Olympics division will be orchestrated in conjunction with


this event featuring area Special Olympics athletes, and a tennis clinic will be available to those who wish to participate.
 Past City Championships have boasted participation of up to 700 Richmonders. With the addition of these new divisions and the aggressive community outreach program, tournament organizers conservatively estimate participation to top 1,000 players.
 "The RTPA recognizes NationsBank for its commitment to this worthwhile grass roots effort to develop tennis for all Richmond citizens," said Debbie Pomeroy, RTPA president. "We are pleased to have NationsBank as our sponsor and look forward to working with the bank to make this tournament a successful community-wide event."
 Several other companies have made pledges to the NationsBank Richmond Tennis Championship. They include Contel Cellular, IBM, UKROPS Super Market Inc., and Wilson. Additionally, the City of Richmond Department of Recreation and Parks has generously donated use of the courts at Byrd Park for the duration of the tournament. NationsBank Corporation (NYSE: NB) is the fourth-largest bank holding company in the United States with $110 billion in assets and full-service offices in nine states and the District of Columbia. NationsBank has 262 branches in Virginia, 40 in Richmond.
 -0- 3/18/92
 /CONTACT: Missy Ryan of NationsBank, 804-788-6939, or Susan DeLong of the Richmond Tennis Patrons Association, 804-358-3535/
 (NB) CO: NationsBank Corporation; Richmond Tennis Patrons Association ST: Virginia IN: SU:


BR-BN -- AT005 -- 9300 03/18/92 14:00 EST
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Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Mar 18, 1992
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