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YMCA tennis students get new rackets

The YMCA had a very busy summer with kids playing tennis, even with the 90-degree heat, they were ready to have fun. Tim Bauer was the tennis coach for the Greater Naples’ YMCA summer camps. The kids attending this summer camp played tennis every day. When the program reached its end there was a surprise waiting for them. The kids went back and forth across the court, until coach Bauer shouted one last “To the net!” that disrupted the pattern and confused some of the kids. They ran in all directions — some expecting to run back toward the base line, others who had adapted to the new order. Usually they have a party on Fridays where the kids do skits or presentations, but on this special day they each received a new tennis racket. Thanks to a partnership with equipment maker Yonex, each of the kids got a brand new tennis racket to congratulate them on their efforts and entice them to keep playing. Some of the kids were new to tennis and said they really liked learning how to play and were very excited to get a new racket to take home.

Tennis can be a fairly costly sport and the YMCA tried to set up a program that would help get kids from different demographics started, whether they had the means or not. What was so amazing is that the summer camp program was made affordable and accessible thanks to the Richard M. Schulze Foundation and a matching challenge with the YMCA receiving $200,000 total to open its doors to children in need. One of the challenges was to reach out to families from Golden Gates Estates. A partnership with Collier Area Transit made buses available to bring the children to summer camp every morning. As the program grows, they hope to expand to areas such as Immokalee.

Once again Naples is very fortunate to offer a wide variety of different programs for children from all economic-social backgrounds through the generosity of those who make living and raising a family here unlike any other place that I know of.

Source: 2015 Journal Media Group.

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