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Tennis 4 Futures – Bringing Opportunities to Albuquerque Youth

January 20, 2015 10:26 PM

tennis4The United States Tennis Association (USTA) Southwest Section recently awarded a grant to Tennis 4 Futures, a new tennis program with the goal of providing an opportunity for middle school students to play tennis year-round.  Melissa Clark, the founder of Tennis 4 Futures, says the idea for the program came out of her experience assisting volunteer head coach Don Larrichio with the Grant Middle School Tennis team. 

The USTA Northern New Mexico Tennis Association (NNMTA) Fall Mid-School Tennis League started in 1996 and attracts upwards of 700 students playing on nearly 40 teams each year.  Tennis 4 Futures shares the NNMTA vision to further the development of tennis in the local area by bringing tennis opportunities to mid-school students beyond the introduction provided during the fall mid-school tennis season.
Tennis 4 Futures bridges the gap for middle school students who are interested in playing tennis beyond their fall tennis season.  Tennis 4 Futures will encourage students to participate in the NNMTA Lucky 7 Rookie Tournament Circuit and will create a new USTA Junior Team Tennis (JTT) tennis team.  Tennis skills will be primarily taught by Don Larrichio and University of New Mexico Lobo Tennis Club teaching pro Matthew Neeld.  

Tennis 4 Futures will provide a fun, safe environment for the students to develop tennis skills and be part of a team.  The program will emphasize the importance of doing well in school, working hard, being healthy, and good sportsmanship.  The program will set the groundwork for continued involvement in tennis, from mid-school to high school, and ultimately as a lifetime sport.  

The sport of tennis teaches important life lessons and can positively influence a student’s life.  Tennis 4 Futures is committed to bringing tennis to those who would not traditionally have access to the game.  We look forward to working with the USTA NNMTA Southwest Section to develop and grow Tennis 4 Futures with the goal of reaching larger numbers of mid-school students in the local area.  In this inaugural year of Tennis 4 Futures, the majority of the students are from Grant Middle School and the program plans to provide tennis activities for 12 students.     

For more information on Tennis 4 Futures please visit the Tennis 4 Futures Facebook page or email Melissa Clark and Melissa Morris at the following email address:  tennis4futures@gmail.com.