The mission of Legacy Youth Tennis and Education is stated clearly on its Web site. It reads:
“… to prepare young people, especially those from under-resourced families and communities, for success as individuals and as active, responsible citizens through innovative tennis, education, life skills, and leadership development programming.”
Legacy seems to consistently accomplish that goal, and much more.
With its eight indoor and eight outdoor courts that feature tennis programming for just about every level, Legacy uses tennis to provide a continual, positive impact on the community. Earlier this year, it was named one of USTA Middle States’ 13 Premier Facilities.
Talk to anyone involved with Legacy, and the first thing they’ll mention is the kids.
“We’ve really adopted the 10 and Under program, and every day we’ve seen it grow, develop, and evolve,” said Lance Lee, Legacy’s Vice President of Tennis and National Partnerships. “It took some time, but it’s working. The kids are having fun, and they’re getting good. In a few years some of them will stand out on the sectional and even national level.”
The kids have plenty of space to play, and multiple options for what program to choose. Programs include options for beginners, intermediates and advanced, and include group sessions, clinics, private lessons, high-performance training, and more. Legacy even has a Munchkins program, which combines on-court instruction with reading exercises, for kids ages 4-7.
“Every level of junior tennis is covered, and we have kids from all types of backgrounds,” Lee said. “We’re truly a melting pot. Every kid from every background is here, and they work with each other, get to know each other, and help each other. Having a group like that teaches lessons beyond the tennis court.”
Beyond the tennis court is one of Legacy’s specialties. Also a National Junior Tennis and Learning Center (NJTL), Legacy is heavily involved in the community and includes kids and families from all over the city. Lee said Legacy works twice per week with 50 kids who would never have been introduced to tennis, and the facility also offers free community hours to Philadelphia residents at various times, April through October.
Annually, Legacy has 4,500 children participating in tennis for little or no cost through the after-school and community programs, and the NJTL’s outdoor summer program. Using tennis as the primary motivator, the programs teach positive, rewarding lessons, build confidence, and provide a framework of personal discipline.
Even with all of the resources for juniors, Legacy even found space for adults this year. The center is opened on a limited basis for league play, private lessons, clinics, and cardio tennis. All fees for that court time directly support the NJTL program’s summer session.
Legacy also reaches the community in other ways, hosting events like college championships, regional competition, and Sunday morning battles. On Saturday, Legacy will host USTA Middle States College Day, which provides high school students a chance to learn about college competition.
For more info on Legacy Youth Tennis and Education, click here.