It’s a real racket!
A tennis club celebrated its first summer season at the Ingersoll Houses on Myrtle Avenue on May 4.
The Bedford-Stuyvesant-based do gooder group Kings County Tennis League opened its sixth NYCHA site at the public housing complex at Flatbush Avenue Extension, giving kids from the community between the ages of 5 and 10 a chance to grab a racket and learn all about the benefits of the sport, according to one of the coaches.
“Tennis can teach a lot of good values like determination,” said Lauren Reid. “It’s an individual sport so it teaches resiliency of relying on yourself.”
There will be weekly courses every Saturday during the summer at the Fort Greene complex, which gives the kids a chance to play a sport they may not be exposed to that often right in their back yard, according to Reid.
“It’s tennis right where they live so they can take ownership,” she said.
The group also teaches the youngsters what they call “life lessons,” which includes some basic science education as well as mentoring from the volunteers.
For example, one young girl during the winter season was frustrated when she kept missing her shots, but after some coaching she learned to take a better approach to the sport, Reid said.
“We talked about how we can’t always win, we have to keep trying,” she said.
Reid oversaw the group’s first program at that location at the nearby Ingersoll Community Center last winter and she said that she notices how the pint-sized players have already improved their skills since then.
“They got to practice forehand and backhand and it was good to see how they had progressed,” she said.
The group planned to inaugurate the outdoor courts at Fleet Walk, but due to the rain, they had to move the games back into the indoor courts inside the community center for the day.
According to the program’s leader, the group aims to give the kids a chance to try something new while doing some healthy exercise too.
“Ingersoll takes us another significant step forward towards our vision of giving every child in Brooklyn regular access to an activity that is healthy, stimulates their personal growth, and exposes them to new concepts, cultures, people, and possibilities,” said David Webley.
The organization also hosts outdoor tennis classes near five other NYCHA developments in Bedford-Stuyvesant people can register for the summer season at www.kingscountytennisleague.org/summer-season.