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USTA Wraps-up Hispanic Outreach Project

August 3, 2007 02:52 PM

This summer USTA Southern joined hands with USTA Georgia and A Tennis Association for Kids (ATAK) in an effort to introduce tennis to Hispanic kids throughout the Atlanta area. Every Wednesday for six weeks, 100 campers were bussed from the Latin American Association (LAA) to Shady Valley Park where they participated in many different tennis activities. The camp was focused on building the fundamentals of the game while having fun with their fellow peers. The kids were introduced to tennis through a new format, using modified court sizes and foam balls.

The tennis class was spilt into two different sessions, with half of the campers coming from 10 a.m-noon and the other half coming from 12:45 p.m-2:45 p.m. The classes were instructed by several volunteers from USTA Southern, USTA Georgia, and ATAK. At the beginning of each session, campers played many different hand-eye coordination games where they were able to become more familiar with the racquet and ball. After warming up, they broke into small groups where they were taught the basic strokes such as forehand, backhand, serve and volley. In order to help motivate the kids, they played many fun games where they were rewarded gold tokens for good sportsmanship, winning, or excellent behavior. At the conclusion of each session, campers participated in a water balloon toss to cool off.

“Over such a short period of time, not only did the campers improve tremendously, but we were able to establish a relationship with them,” said Jim Hamm, Executive Director of Special Pops Inc.

On the last day of camp, the kids were given several USTA prizes such as frisbees, wrist bands, kick balls, and pens. Each camper also participated in a raffle where they had the chance to win racquets, tennis backpacks, and water bottle holders.

“It was great to watch the kids improve week after week. By the last session it was obvious that the kids had a new love for tennis. The whole camp was truly a rewarding experience for me and all the kids,” said Yasmine Osborn, Diversity, Grant, and NJTL Coordinator.

 

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