A three-year partnership between the Georgia-based Latin American Association
and USTA Southern has brought tennis to many Latino youngsters in and around Atlanta. This year’s highlight was the 2009 INSPIRA summer camp held at Westminster School last June and July.
This summer 60 Latino children, ages 6 to 13, participated in the camp, the same number of children have joined the USTA.
The tennis camp, headed by Coach William Vazquez, gave many of the children the opportunity to play tennis for the first time. Other children have attended the summer camps in 2007 and 2008, making them tennis “veterans.” Take A Swing, Inc. an organization of metro Atlanta high school teenagers, volunteered at the camp, teaching tennis to children who cannot afford lessons.
The camper’s tennis skills improved so fast that in the fourth week all of the budding tennis players were playing matches. Tennis was one of the several activities of the camp including soccer, academics, art, visit to the zoo, wall climbing, etc.
Many of the campers will join the Jr. Team Tennis winter season. All programs have used the QuickStart format, designed to help kids learn tennis quickly and easily. The program uses smaller courts, foam and lower-compression balls and simplified rules than those used and played by adults.
Also, an after-school program sponsored by the LAA and USTA Southern, at Woodward Elementary in Atlanta has been in place in the last two years.
The LAA’s mission is to help Latino individuals and families achieve their aspirations for academic, social and economic advancement. Today, as the leading service provider for Latin Americans in metro Atlanta, the LAA offers a range of programs that guide Latinos with solutions to address their basic needs and provide them with the information and skills necessary to achieve their fullest potential.