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Lee County Schools Tennis Carnival

May 18, 2005 08:25 AM

On May 6th and May 13th the Florida Gulf Coast University tennis courts were full of happy 5th grade students, P.E. Teachers, USPTA instructors and CTA volunteers.  Florida Gulf Coast University, USA Tennis Florida, USPTA Instructors, Lee County Community Tennis Association and Lee County Schools joined forces to introduce 650 children to tennis in May.

The annual event delivered a two hour-long program that introduced tennis to twenty-seven Lee County Elementary schools’ fifth grade students on two Fridays in May.  USA Tennis Florida Community Coordinator, Susie Bessire organized and oversaw the three courts of tennis carnival fun while Terri See and his crew of USPTA instructors worked with the individual schools on the nine surrounding courts.  The carnival courts were filled with 150 plus students at all times with each school getting to try their “racquets” at each of the three on-court carnival games.  The schools competed against each other in the fun tennis games with scores being announced at the end of every round.  The competition was fierce and fun.  The blasting Disco music prompted some pretty impressive dance moves which some of the teams earned bonus points for!

J.Webb Horton, FGCU Varsity Men’s Tennis Coach, spoke to the final group of the morning about all of the wonderful possibilities that the great sport of tennis could bring into their lives today and in the future; learning a lifetime sport, developing a healthy lifestyle, assisting them with a college education and playing on a university tennis team to name just a of few.

As the buses arrived to take the children back to their schools, 75 percent of the students raised their hands when asked if they would like to play more and learn more about tennis.  The Carnival was a great opportunity for all of the children to have a positive first time experience with a tennis racquet in their hand and have a great deal of fun at the same time.






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