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Summit Tennis Association brings the 10 and under format to the Physical Education classes

The Summit Tennis Association (STA) is a non-profit Community Tennis Association that partnered with the PE teachers by providing training and in-class support. The Brayton School was the first elementary school in Summit to begin the QuickStart into their gym classes and Paul Fessock is the PE teacher. Tom Bowers is the PE teacher at the Washington School.

Dick Walther and others of the Summit Tennis Association believes in bringing tennis to school aged children. The NJ region supported this with a small grant which purchased equipment for the program at the Washington School. The PE teachers now own the program and intend to repeat it in the spring. Dick Walther said, “This gives us confidence that the details of the activities in each grade provide a sound practical basis for starting and keeping tennis in the grade school.”

The tennis program in the PE curriculum at Washington school went well for their first year, and they expect it to just get better in 2011. The program finished with flying colors after having completed their term of tennis in the gym. They managed to implement 4 weeks of tennis classes for the fall. The PE activity goes by "units" which are generally 4 weeks long. A tennis unit was added and met with a high level of acceptance and success.

A key attribute of the program is that the players work with partners in the games and skills drills so that there is very little waiting in line to hit the ball. "The children learned basic tennis and skills while working in a highly cooperative environment. Tennis is certainly a lifetime activity and I firmly believe that QuickStart is an excellent way to spark interest in the sport", says Tom Bowers. "I am confident that tennis will continue to be a part of my Physical education program for years".

Through this program, a total of 360 young players in these two schools have taken part in tennis. With this exposure of youth to the game, Summit now provides opportunities for first graders through high school in all grades to take part in organized tennis. The STA plans to introduce QST into a third grade school in 2011. Both schools plan to repeat the 4 week session in the spring season of 2011.