For years, sports fans across the country have known the name Ron Jaworski for his passion as an NFL player and analyst. These days, the former NFL quarterback is earning quite the strong reputation for something else.
Year-round, the five indoor tennis courts at Ron Jaworski’s RiverWinds Golf & Tennis Club in West Deptford, N.J. buzz with tennis and include all levels and abilities. With an abundance of play opportunities, top-notch instruction and courts that are always in prime condition, Ron Jaworski’s RiverWinds Golf & Tennis Club was named one of USTA Middle States’ Premier Facilities for 2013.
“We have fun here,” said Nancy Wilkins, the facility’s tennis director. “We try to offer a bit of everything, and keep everyone playing. I think we’ve caught on with a lot of people in the area.”
For Wilkins and her tennis staff, that starts with youth tennis and the 10 and Under Tennis program, which the facility adopted three years ago with high hopes. At that point, the staff thought 10 and Under Tennis had the potential to be a game-changer for kids, but didn’t know just how it would be perceived when rolled out in the local area.
It’s since evolved into one of the area’s top programs and constantly receives positive feedback.
“We’re thrilled with it,” Wilkins said. “With tennis as a whole, it’s really helping to grow the game, and we’re starting to see the benefits for the kids in our programs. Some of the kids who started with us three years ago are now beginning to compete in tournaments and find success, when before they would have really struggled.”
The tournaments offered at RiverWinds vary in age range, and include 10 and Under Tournaments, which Wilkins said have been a great feature for area players. In addition, the staff feeds young players into the team-based Jr. Team Tennis program, and offers video analysis and training for interested players.
Adults in the New Jersey and Philadelphia areas also have plenty of chances to hit the court, as RiverWinds runs a large group of USTA league teams, adult clinics and special events on weeknights, weekends and holidays.
“When everybody else is off, that’s when we are busiest,” Wilkins laughed. “We like it that way.”
Whether the player is interested in high-intensity training or simply learning the game, the facility takes pride in finding a way for that person to play. And outside of standard play opportunities, RiverWinds stays active and helpful in the community and has hosted a number of coaches workshops and trainings over the past two years.
Wilkins has also been very involved with the Special Olympics – something that’s now a priority across the board at the facility.
“We offer private lessons for special needs kids at a discounted rate, and offer a once per month training session for special athletes,” said Wilkins, who is serving as the Tennis Commissioner for the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games. “We get a lot of our juniors involved with volunteering on that end, too, which is always a help.”
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