USTA Eastern New Jersey

» News

USTA Grants Assisting School Tennis Programs

April 19, 2014 02:53 PM

As part of an ongoing effort to promote tennis in USTA Eastern Region schools, close to 400 elementary students in Franklin School, Summit, New Jersey were introduced to tennis as part of their physical education program through the assistance of USTA Eastern funding.

The students, who were in grades one through five, each enjoyed four to six lessons in the gym during the 2013-2014 school year.

With this additional elementary school program, along with two previous schools in Summit at the Washington and Brayton schools, the number of students exposed to tennis in the school physical education programs now totals approximately 1000 students.

What does this mean? The students in these schools are provided with tennis instruction and play at no cost, which helps grow the game significantly for this key age group.

USTA Eastern grants provided support for these programs in a number of ways. Funding enabled equipment to be purchased, allowed Tom Bowers, a physical education instructor at Washington School, as well as other physical education instructors, to take part and help teach, and enabled the Summit Tennis Association to be involved.

In the future, an existing after-school Middle School tennis team program for grades six through eight will take place in the Spring and Fall seasons. This will provide the opportunity for these players to continue with tennis in a team environment and on a no-cut basis.  Additionally, several players now on the high school teams, including junior varsity and varsity squads for the boys and girls teams, previously played on this Middle School team.

This highlights the extent to which having these programs has impacted students in the area, inspiring them to become lifelong tennis players.

- Dick Walther, 2014 Eastern Hall of Fame Inductee