Long Island Tennis Magazine (LITM) partnered with the USTA Eastern Long Island Region to hostthree different Kids’ Days events once again this summer. Held at three separate locations, LuHi Summer Programs, Sportime Hempstead Lake and The Hamlet Golf & Country Club, the Kids’ Days brought together diverse camps, groups and programs, including those who are underprivileged or have special needs, for free days of fun on and off the court.
“This year will go down as one of the most successful USTA Kid's Days our region has ever had,” said Jonathan Klee, USTA Eastern Long Island Regional Director. “The weather cooperated for all three events and I'm so proud that our LI Council volunteers came out in full force for all of the new and old groups that recorded record attendance for these events.”
The collaboration between LITM and USTA Long Island over the last several years has resulted in the Kids’ Day events continuing to expand and grow each year. Throughout each facility’s courts, smaller Net Generation courts were set up where LITM interns, made up of local high school and college tennis players, USTA Long Island volunteers and local teaching professionals and directors instructed the kids through different drills.
The players move from station-to- station, but the tennis isn’t the only fun tobe had at Kids’ Day. There was a dunk tank and bounce house, relay races, face-painting, a DJ, dance contests, water balloons, pizza and more. By teaching the basics in a fun environment such as these Kids’ Days, the goal is to influence these youngsters to continue playing tennis in the future, and expose them to the sport of a lifetime.
“There is nothing more rewarding than seeing the smiles on the children and special needs adults as they play red, green and orange ball tennis and do all of the other activities at these events,” Klee added. “Thank you to LuHi, Sportime Hempstead Lake and the Hamlet for providing their facilities and Long Island Tennis Magazine for running these events.”
Groups from all across Long Island came out to attend Kids Days, including from Boys & Girls Club of Glen Cove, Brookville Park, Circulo de Hispanidad, Epic Long Island, Family Residences and Essential Enterprises, Island Quest, Jack and Jill of America and Suffolk JCC. The LITM Event Team, consisting of about 20 high school and college tennis players, and USTA Long Island come together to put these events on for those who are underprivileged or have special needs with the top priority being fun. By providing a safe and fun environment in which to play tennis, it establishes a foundation for future participation and helps spread the joy of tennis to more and more people.
“We are proud to continue our partnership with USTA Eastern to bring tennis to so many people who otherwise would not enjoy it," said David Sickmen, Publisher of Long Island Tennis Magazine. "Growing the game and using tennis to improve lives is part of our mission, and the Kids Day events are integral to that. These tennis carnivals have become such a diverse, inclusive event and we look forward to continuing to build on the success of these events next summer!”