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Florence Tennis Association Opens Doors for Hispanic Children

July 30, 2008 03:34 PM

Hispanic children in Florence, S.C. are now able to enjoy tennis in the summer. Abriendo Puertas (Opening Doors) is an introductory program for Hispanic children and adolescents. Abriendo Puertas has three separate sessions this summer. The first session started July, 7 and the last session will start August, 4. This program will be a joint venture involving the FTA, West Florence High School, and St. Anthony Parish, the area’s largest Catholic Church. St Anthony serves approximately 900 families, and between a fourth and a third of them are Hispanic. Many of these families attend special services that are conducted in Spanish and see the Church as their primary connection with the larger community.

The participants were divided into age and skill level groups. Over 30 children participated in the second session, with ages ranging from 4 all the way to 16. A tennis pro was assisted by FTA volunteers and willing parents. The children participated in drills and games that would help their tennis skills. The goal of this phase will be to build on the initial connection with tennis and prepare the participants to move directly into other tennis programs.

The Florence Tennis Association (FTA) is the most dynamic and successful Community Tennis Association in South Carolina. Over the past five years it has doubled its membership and quadrupled its programmatic spending. It currently operates or funds programs for adult and junior beginners and for experienced adults, seniors and juniors. Its accomplishments in recent years run the gamut from the introduction of exciting new programs to the expansion of public tennis facilities to the refinement of its own infrastructure.




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