Keriann Herdelin believes tennis can change the world. And the way that Greater Pottstown Tennis and Learning (GPTL) is offering tennis in the local tennis community, she’s certainly right.
Based in Pottstown, Pa., GPTL’s tennis programming is impacting players of all ages and abilities throughout the area. Even with just Herdelin running day to day operations, GPTL is earning recognition at the national level.
Recently, GPTL was selected as one of 29 National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL) Chapters across the country to be part of the USTA Foundation Capacity Building Program. There are 500 NJTL chapters in the United States.
“We’re excited about how things have been going. We’re really starting make strides and make an impact,” said Herdelin, GPTL’s Executive Director. “It’s a great time to be involved with tennis.”
It’s also a great time to play tennis in Pottstown. GPTL offers youth and adult clinics, leagues and private lessons year-round. The organization also runs free programs for students enrolled in the Pottstown School District, as well as for low-income and special needs players. The emphasis is on fun, character building, positive attitude, sportsmanship, healthy behavior and effort.
One of GPTL’s recent highlights came last October, when it partnered with USTA Middle States to host a tournament in conjunction with the Special Olympics of Pennsylvania. Twenty-six athletes from four counties competed that day, with a free Play Day event taking place immediately after.
“We want to promote healthy behaviors at an early age,” she said. “Things like character building, healthy living and sportsmanship aren’t always pushed enough. Those are some of the things that we’re working with partners on really pushing.”
Next week, GPTL will host its 14th annual Pottstown Tennis Classic Fundraising Tournament. The event, which runs from June 23-26, will feature men’s, women’s, mixed and junior singles and doubles. The tournament proceeds benefit low-cost programs for Pottstown youth in tennis, education, health and fitness.
More information about GPTL and the annual tournament can be found by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
GPTL was named a Middle States Premier Provider in 2015 and 2016.