by Tim Palmer
Treasure Coast Tennis Association
Lots of kids, loads of balls hit, many matches. That pretty much describes 2022 for the programs of the Treasure Coast Tennis Association, funded by the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation and the U.S. Tennis Association. Youngsters age four and up took lessons, played games, smiled for photos and, in general, had tons of fun on courts across Indian River County.
Tennis season got under way on March 1 with Love Serving Autism at Wabasso School. The school serves special-needs children, many of whom are on the autism spectrum. Weekly classes began March 1 and continued through April 12 for 30 students.
Vero Beach youth tennis season kicked off with a March 26 event called Come Try Tennis! at Riverside Park in Vero Beach. Twenty-four children took part on a Saturday afternoon.
CTT! was inspired by a report in Tennis magazine that America has been undergoing a tennis boom reminiscent of the 1970s. The Covid pandemic actually spurred growth in the sport as people realized that tennis is a safe outdoor activity with physical, mental and social benefits.
April marked the start of MFCF Spring Middle School Tennis League. A total of 92 middle schoolers took part in the six-team league. Schools represented were Saint Edward’s School (two teams); Oslo Middle School; Master’s Academy/Home Schooled; Storm Grove Middle School; and Sebastian River Middle School.
The league’s daylong season-ending tournament on May 14 at Riverside Park in Vero Beach drew more than 70 entries for singles and doubles competition.
TCTA summer junior tennis camps began in June at Riverside Park and Gifford Youth Achievement Center. Sessions in June and July hosted 35 players at Riverside Park, 42 players at GYAC. Summer tennis ended with a Riverside Park Play Day for 70-plus players from both sites.
After a break to get a good start in school, the fourth annual MFCF Fall Fourth- and Fifth- Grade League launched in early October. The league had five teams with approximately 40 players representing Dodgertown Elementary School; Osceola Magnet School; Master’s Academy/Home Schooled; Gifford Youth Achievement Center; and Glendale Christian School.
Fall tennis wrapped up with the league tournament on November 12 at Riverside Park. Two-dozen players took part.
Treasure Coast Tennis Association is very grateful to Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation for its support of junior tennis in Indian River County, and to our teaching pros, assistants and volunteers. 2023 is shaping up to be another banner year. We appreciate the help of the USTA as well! See you on the courts! For more information on our programs, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.