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USTA Introduces Tennis to Hispanic Kids

June 15, 2007 11:15 AM

Embracing diversity and encouraging multicultural outreach efforts is essential to achieving the USTA mission of growing the game of tennis. This summer USTA Southern, USTA Georgia, and A Tennis Association for Kids (ATAK) have teamed up with the Latin American Association (LAA) to incorporate weekly tennis programming for children attending LAA summer day camp.

Over 100 campers are bussed to Shady Valley Park each Wednesday for two hours of tennis and fun. For six weeks LAA campers will hit the courts as they are introduced to tennis through a new format.

“Since majority of the Hispanic community is focused on sports such as soccer and basketball, this outreach project presents many new opportunities in a culture that has been waiting silently,” said Natalia Martinez, USTA Southern Intern. “I look forward to working with the volunteers to make this camp a success.”

The new format is designed fit the needs of young children. The traditional methods used in introducing young children to the game of tennis are being scaled to accommodate the needs of children ages 5-10 in hopes of creating a positive experience and increasing retention. The children will use smaller racquets, foam balls and modified court sizes. Each full tennis court will be divided into six mini courts. The initiative is designed so that children can "Play to Learn" the game rather than "Learn to Play."

After wrapping up the first week of camp, the kids were very responsive and excited to be to learn a new sport. Throughout the six week period, each kid will have the opportunity to win prizes such as water bottles and stickers provided by the USTA. On the last day of camp the volunteers hope to run a Kid’s Team Tennis Day where campers will implement the skills they learned in a match scenario.

 

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