Fourteen Upper St. Clair High School students, along with help from a few friends and parents, recently hosted the annual Tennis Fun Day, a citywide tennis outreach and community service event at Arsenal Park in Pittsburgh’s Lawrenceville neighborhood.
The goal of the event was to promote and grow the sport of tennis and encourage kids to be physically active and healthier.
The event was led by students Carter Chui and Evie Ellenberger, along with parents Lynn Ellenberger, Chrissy Gargani, Dana Patterson, and Stephanie Le. Student volunteers included Lou Gargani, Aadi Markose, Aly Childs, Asha Segall, Autumn Ma, Eden Ma, Ben Bordenstein, Izzy Yoos, Reilly Caslin, Anna Engleman, Harini Sakthivel and Isabella Zhang, most of whom are members of the high school tennis teams. In addition, student volunteers from other communities included Sylvie Eriksen, Hannah Patterson and Isabella Liu-Lopez.
“It was incredible to see how grateful the participants were to learn from the volunteers, and I was very glad to see how much fun we all had. I can’t wait to do this again next year,” Carter Chui said.
In preparation for the event, volunteers collected more than 75 gently used tennis racquets provided by local tennis players. The used racquets were refurbished with new strings and grips, donated by Gamma.
In addition, new children’s racquets were donated by the United States Tennis Association’s Allegheny Mountain District, which provided financial support for the event, along with Dick’s Sporting Goods.
The high school players along with tennis pro Janis Finn, who volunteered her time for the event, served as coaches. They organized fun tennis drills and games to engage young and adult players while teaching them the fundamental strokes of tennis.
“Anyone can get started now playing tennis. The goals today are to spark an interest in a new generation of players and to promote health and fitness,” Stephanie Le said.
The volunteers and players hope to continue their program in the spring. For more information, visit NetandClay.com.