Palmetto Championships recognized and Belton Tennis Announces 2017 Tournament Schedule

Palmetto Championships Receives Jim Russell Award

Belton Tennis Sets 2017 Tournament Schedule

USTA Southern has announced that the Palmetto Championships presented by Chick-fil-A of Anderson has been selected as the 2016 Jim Russell Junior Tournament of the Year for the 9-state section.  The award was presented at the Southern Awards Luncheon held in Atlanta in January.

The Palmetto, which is played over Memorial Day weekend, celebrated it’s 60th anniversary in Belton last year with over 430 players.  The tournament is sponsored by Chick-fil-A of Anderson and serves as the national qualifying tournament for junior players in South Carolina.  This was the third time the Palmetto has been recognized with this award, but long time Tournament Director Rex Maynard said this was the most meaningful:  “We appreciate the support of our staff, officials, sponsors, community and players.  Chick-fil-A of Anderson is a wonderful title sponsor.  They offer much more than funding and product…they offer their support before, during and after the event.  They are a great partner and a big part of our success.  This is the third time the Palmetto has been recognized with this honor, but this is by far the most meaningful and the first time since the award was named in memory of Big Jim Russell.  Jim was the Referee of the Palmetto for over 35 years, and he had so much to do with making the event the success it is today.  We look forward to continuing this South Carolina tennis tradition for many more years in Belton, and we accept this award with gratitude for and in memory of Big Jim.”

The 2017 Palmetto Championships will be played May 26-30.  The 2017 Belton Tennis tournament schedule includes 4 major events and is outlined below:

The Belton Tennis Association will host four major tournaments during the 2017 year.

  • Palmetto Championships presented by Chick-fil-A of Anderson May 26-30
  • Special Populations Unified Doubles (SPUD) July 14-15
  • South Carolina Men’s Collegiate Championships September 29-October 1
  • Chick-fil-A of Anderson Hall of Fame Classic October 14-15

The Palmetto Championships is the South Carolina junior qualifying tournament and has been played in Belton since 1957.  Players who do well in the Palmetto advance on to the Southern and National championships. The tournament attracts 430 of the state’s top junior players.  Championships are determined for both boys and girls in 5 different age divisions (10U, 12U, 14U, 16U and 18U).  The Palmetto was recognized with the 2016 9-state USTA Southern Jim Russell Junior Tournament of the Year Award.  More information on the 2017 Palmetto may be accessed at

Special Populations Unified Doubles (SPUD) features special athletes playing with unified partners in team competition.  The tournament is sponsored by the USTA Southern Adaptive Committee and was started in 2010.  Over 50 special athletes are expected to participate in the 2-day event.  Players come from South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia and Alabama.

The Chick-fil-A Hall of Fame Classic began in 1987 and features 8 of the state’s top high school girls teams.  Players compete as individuals in their respective flights (1 through 5 singles and 1 & 2 doubles) and wins earn points for their team.  Christ Church is the defending team champion.

The South Carolina Men’s Collegiate Championships began in 2014 and is played in memory of long time local tennis volunteer and official Jim Russell.  Varsity players from state colleges play to determine South Carolina singles and doubles champions.

The Belton Tennis Association operates the 5-court Belton Tennis Center and offers facilities, programs lesson and clinics throughout the year.  The courts are available for public use at no charge both day and night.

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