If you lived anywhere but Wilmington, you might say that coordinating a tennis play day for 800 young children is a crazy idea! But to tennis pro Jackie Roe and the other organizers passionate about growing the game, “Tennis in the Streets” is the perfect idea to get kids excited about summer and playing tennis.
For the 26th time since its inception in 1990, some 40 pros and 75 volunteers offered tennis instruction and fun on Market Street on Rodney Square from 9 to Noon on May 20th. “Virtually all of the tennis pros in the Wilmington area cleared their calendars to come help with Tennis in the Streets,” said Roe. “It really is my favorite day of the year, and I couldn’t do this without their support.”
Kids from about a dozen elementary schools showed up, got a t-shirt, were provided rackets, and then were assigned to work with a pro for about 20 minutes.
The pros learned several of their names, made their sessions fun, and the kids had a ball! Kids who showed real interest were asked to provide their name to volunteers, and some will qualify for a summer tennis scholarship at Rodney Street Tennis & Tutoring Association (RSTTA). The USTA, USPTA, Wilmington Parks and Rec and RSTTA all worked with Roe to help deliver a fun-filled morning to the school children. In addition to the tennis, kids enjoyed fun and games, DJ dance contests and a free lunch on Rodney Square.