Last Friday, more than 900 city youths came to Rodney Square to learn to play tennis. For many, it was their very first time.
Hundreds of kids from local elementary schools spent 20 minutes or so on court, receiving one-on-one training from certified professionals.
The event is a collaborative effort between the USTA, USPTA, PTR and Wilmington Parks & Recreation. Many local tennis pros donate their mornings to teach tennis for three hours. Volunteers were on hand to organize courts, gather balls and keep everything moving smoothly.
Representatives from a Delaware NJTL also attended the event. Through their scholarship program, they hope to be able to offer free tennis camp for some of the kids who participated in Tennis in the Streets.
The USTA has placed a strong emphasis on proper training for kids 10 and under. Through use of smaller courts, racquets and lower compression balls, kids have a much easier time learning to play.
This year was the first time the event utilized red, low-compression tennis balls, which bounce lower and move through the air slower. The Delaware District purchased the ball with money received from a grant from Middle States.
The purpose of the event was to show the kids that anyone can play tennis, with kids of all ages, backgrounds and skill sets successfully participating in activities on Friday. One of the USTA’s core goals is just that: making tennis available to anyone and everyone.
To view photos from Tennis in the Streets, visit our Facebook page.