Nearly 1,000 Miami-Dade youth play tennis this summer

July 10, 2006 01:12 PM

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More than 900 Miami youth ages 7 to 14 are being treated to free summer tennis camps!  With funding through USTA and other grants, three Miami-area locations are providing free programs for local children.

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USTA Florida Community Coordinator Cathy Nordlund is a huge supporter for the two second-year programs at the Hank Klein Boys & Girls Club and the Miami Dade Police Department, and also the first-ever program at the Kiwanis Club of Little Havana.

“This partnership has allowed us to promote and build tennis pathways for junior tennis players to excel,” Nordlund said.  “Our children have been so successful!”

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Hank Klein Boys & Girls Club

  • 500 youth a week
  • Partnership between USTA Florida and Boys & Girls Club
  • USTA grant and Boys & Girls Club donations enable FREE camp for youth
  • Second year camp has been offered
  • Volunteer assistance provided by:
    -Regional Director Rick Pardon
    -Boys & Girls Club Director of Tennis Coach Paul Johnson
    -Christine Clermont comes to teach tennis to the kids.  [Christine is a former tennis student of the Gwen Cherry Club and one of four who has earned a tennis scholarship under the leadership and dedication of Coach Paul Johnson.]

Police Athletic League (PAL), Miami Dade Police Department, Community Affairs Bureau

  • 200 youth
  • American High School in Hialeah
  • Partnership between USTA Florida and Miami Dade Police Department (P.D.): Major Jim DiBernardo and Miami Dade P.D. Community Affairs Bureau representative Keith Lindholm helped Cathy put the program together
  • PAL receives grant from police department

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Kiwanis Club of Little Havana 

  •  200 youth attend Kiwanis sports camp at Shenandoah Park
  •  Tennis, baseball, soccer and swimming
  •  USTA Diversity grant provides funds for free tennis program
  •  Volunteer assistance provided by:
     -USTA Florida volunteers Linda Karen and Susan Ricke
     -Diversity Committee Chair Rick Pardon
     -Diversity Staff Liason Shelly Licorish

“These camps create a pathway into other junior tennis programs,” Pardon said.  “We hope more and more of these kids will go on to play team tennis, school tennis and even competitive tennis!”

 “We are excited about this new partnership with the Kiwanis Club of Little Havana and hope to assist with their after school program in the fall,” Nordlund said.  “We have two sets of twins who keep the tennis instructors on their toes!”

Hank Klein Boys & Girls Club Executive Director Alex Rodriguez-Roig is an avid supporter of these programs.

“USTA has earned a solid reputation for serving Miami-Dade children, …” Alex said.  “… This program has added benefits such as the promotion of positive self-esteem, character and leadership development along with health, nutrition and fitness skills, drug and violence prevention and other successful life strategies.

“All of these approaches fit with the mission of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami: ‘To inspire and enable all young people, especially those from disadvantaged circumstances, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens.’”

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