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Monday, January 25, 2021

Kids Make a Racquet at Tennithon

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Christy Fleming
Christy Fleming
The managing editor of TownSquareDelaware.com, Christy Fleming also supports a variety of non-profit initiatives in Delaware. Her background includes positions in public relations, advertising and journalism.

Budding Serena Williamses, Roger Federers and Naomi Osakas hit the courts at the DuPont Country Club on March 9th, for the annual Delaware Tennithon benefiting the Delaware Tennis Foundation.  

The Tennithon, a traditional kickoff to the spring tennis season, is an action-packed night bringing both newcomers and tournament-level junior players together for hours of fun on the court. Kids from seven to seventeen swung the night away, facing off in doubles match play and drilling with instructors Troy Donato, Kenny Beebe, Tim Fitzgerald, Jared Klose, Sam Inden and the entire Goldey-Beacom Women’s Tennis team.

It’s a tradition that spans generations. Beebe and Fitzgerald — both teach at DuPont CC, and Fitzgerald is the Tennis Director — each participated in the Tennithon for many years. “I played in the Tennithon from age 8 to 16, playing overnight, with Larry Hampton running the show. It was a lot of fun, and I never missed it,” said Fitzgerald.

Fitzgerald has been helping run the event since it moved to DuPont in 2012. “It’s a social night where kids hang out with their friends and we let the kids enjoy themselves all night. This is what tennis is all about,” said Fitzgerald.

Along with Donato, assistant coach of the Goldey Beacom Women’s Tennis Team, all of the teaching pros put the kids through games, matched up levels and ultimately worked to get new kids excited about the game. “The high school coaches encourage their players to come and try it out. Some volunteer help with the younger players and others love hitting with the college players. It’s a good time,” said Fitzgerald.

The pros also set up foosball, ping pong and a card table on the deck overlooking the courts, where a boombox played pop hits and there was ample pizza and Gatorade to fuel the tennis-playing marathon.


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