Got Tennis
  | By Long Island Tennis Magazine Staff

As part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s ongoing “Let’s Move” initiative to fight childhood obesity, tennis Hall of Famer Gigi Fernandez and Valerie Stern, through their new company Baby Goes Pro, have been invited to help coordinate and present the “Explore the Moves Sports and Obstacle Course”, an interactive sports exhibit at the annual White House Easter Egg Roll on April 5.


This year’s theme at the White House Easter Egg Roll is “Ready, Set, Go!” promoting health and wellness. The White House will open its South Lawn to 36,000 lucky children aged 12 years and younger and their families. The event will feature live music, cooking stations, storytelling, the “Explore the Moves Sports and Obstacle Course” and, of course, Easter egg rolling, all to encourage children to lead healthy and active lives.


Baby Goes Pro, is a first-of-its-kind DVD series that introduces children ages four and under to five non-contact sports--baseball, basketball, golf, soccer and tennis. The DVD features “Emkei (MK) the Monkey” an endearing animated character who acts as coach and inspires children to lead active lifestyles, build courage and begin a lifelong love of sports. The five sports will be offered at the event with obstacle course activities between each station. Here’s a brief description of the events and the celebrity guests invited by Baby Goes Pro to coach the children.


Tennis: Baby Goes Pro and the United States Tennis Association (USTA) with the help of tennis legend Billie Jean King, Hall of Famer Gigi Fernandez will present Quickstart Tennis. The exciting new play format for learning tennis, introduces kids to the game by utilizing specialized equipment, shorter court dimensions and modified scoring, all tailored to age and size.

Golf: Baby Goes Pro and the Ladies Pro Golf Association (LPGA) will join together to teach the basic skills of the game at an interactive golf exhibit featuring two modular putting green donated by Tour Links. Current and former LPGA stars Jane Geddes, Anna Rawson and Kris Tschetter will teach children the basic fundamentals of putting.

Baseball/Softball: Olympic softball champion Michele Smith along with former Baltimore Orioles slugger Al Bumbry will teach youngsters how to catch and throw.

Washington Wizards point guard Earl Boykins and former NBA player Delaney Rudd and his staff of coaches will teach youngsters the fundamentals of basketball.

Soccer: Olympic champion Abby Wambach along with NFL placekicker Martin Gramatica, will show kids basic soccer foot skills including passing and kicking.

Obstacle Course: Designed by North Carolina’s P.E. Teacher of the Year, Coach Mc Henry, the obstacle course features a climbing wall, a teepee tunnel, a stand up Emkei for target hitting, hula hoops, aerobic steps and other fun and interactive activities.

“Physical activity is a prime component of the First Lady’s campaign to combat childhood obesity,” said Fernandez. “The mission of Baby Goes Pro is to motivate kids to get active at a very young age. Our objective is directly in line with that of the First Lady’s – to “inspire a generation to move” and ultimately lead healthy and long lives. It is one of my greatest honors to participate in this annual holiday event and spread this very important message.”


Gigi Fernandez (tennis/Co-Founder Baby Goes Pro), Anna Rawson (LPGA), Earl Boykins (NBA, Washington Wizards), Michele Smith (USA Softball), Kris Tschetter (LPGA), Martin Gramatica (NFL-retired), Liezel Huber (tennis), Valerie Stern (Co-Founder Baby Goes Pro)












Katrina Adams, Gigi Fernandez, Billie Jean King, Liezel Huber, Ilana Kloss






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