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PRIDE Month: CMTO Reaches Beyond Borders

June 2, 2014 09:01 AM

Columbus Metropolitan Tennis Organization Reaches Beyond Borders
A Celebration of PRIDE Month

Event_2The Columbus Metropolitan Tennis Organization (CMTO) was founded more than 40 years ago, back in 1973, and was inspired by the famous “Battle of the Sexes” tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs.  The organization began with just a handful of tennis enthusiasts from the LGBT community and today it boasts nearly 100 players from the LGBT community and their allies.  CMTO is proud to draw players not only from the Columbus area, but also from Cleveland, Cincinnati and Dayton.

The organization is proud to have reached outside of Ohio’s borders, even the country’s borders, through its “Columbus Classic” tournament.  This year’s tournament – the organization’s third annual event - took place May 9-11 at the outdoor courts of The Ohio State University and included 90 participants from the United States, Canada and Japan!

The goal of the CMTO, and the Columbus Classic, is to offer an affordable outlet for those who want to participate in the sport of tennis, while growing the number of participants from the local LGBT community.

The CMTO league program is very popular, offering beginner, intermediate and advanced skill options for both singles and doubles tennis.  The league provides a Round Robin format that provides a weekly schedule of play with opponents of a similar skill level.  In addition, the league also provides a Challenge Ladder option for both singles and doubles players.  This allows players to compete in as many matches as they would like each month, at a timeframe that fits their schedule.  It also gives players the ability to compete with others at a higher skill level.

Event_1“I think most of our players appreciate all of the different skill levels and the different schedule options”, says CMTO Committee Member Mark Buckingham.  “There are league options that allow for people to play as much, or as little, as they like.”  Buckingham believes this is what draws players from over 2 hours away, driving from Cincinnati, Dayton and even Cleveland.

The CMTO league emphasizes its outreach in the LBGT community by participating in the Stonewall Sports Expo and Pride.  It also supports other community programs through the Columbus Classic tournament.  Recently, organizers broadened their outreach by raising funds for Buddy Up Tennis, a local organization that teaches children with down syndrome and autism the sport of tennis.

For more information about the Columbus Metropolitan Tennis Organization:
CMTO Website: www.CMTO1.org

Committee Members: 
Brian Conrad (conradb3@gmail.com, 614-578-5644)
Mark Buckingham (Mark.Buckingham@ColumbusRadioGroup.com, 614-425-2221)

Columbus Classic Website: www.ColumbusClassicTennis.com
Tournament Director:  Mark Buckingham (Mark.Buckingham@ColumbusRadioGroup.com, 614-425-2221) 


June is PRIDE Month, and the USTA/Midwest Section is recognizing those who strive to make a difference in the LGBT community on and off the court by highlighting local organizations, players, volunteers and coaches throughout the month. Click Here to learn more about those that have helped serve the USTA/Midwest Section mission and move the game into the future for the LGBT community.