Grand Slam Junior Tennis Academy
Grand Slam Junior Tennis Academy is an opportunity for the youth of the Northside community to have fun, get active and learn the fundamentals of tennis and sportsmanship from quality Christian leaders.
Grand Slam Junior Tennis Academy started in 2016 when we felt led to provide free professional tennis instruction to our underprivileged and underserved neighbors. We were able to collaborate with the Northside Community Center to offer the program at no cost! The academy serves as an opportunity for the youth of the Northside community to have fun, get active and learn the fundamentals of tennis and sportsmanship from quality Christian leaders. Our goal is to to create champions on and off the court by providing the highest quality tennis instruction (following USTA Guidelines) and building/investing in relationships with our players.
Our focus has been on the predominantly Hispanic youth of the Northside Community of Fort Worth. The youth of our community generally believe that tennis is a sport reserved for non-athletic, non-competitive and/or wealthy people. Our biggest challenge is breaking this stigma. If we can convince them to pick up a racket and give it a try, the amazing sport of Tennis does a lot of the work for us.
During the Spring and Fall season of 2017 we averaged 20 players each week, the Northside Community Center has provided all the necessary equipment, and local schools are interested in teaming up with our tennis program. One week we had over 50 Volunteers and players on the participating in our academy at the same time, it was total chaos but totally awesome!
Each week during the snack break of our academy, one of our leaders shares story from the Bible. It is amazing how engaged students are once you tire them out a bit, and give them a snack! This 15 minute story time has been a chance to speak truth from the Bible to these young people, for many of whom are hearing these stories for the very first time.
One of the biggest successes of our academy has been the opportunity to encourage and empower our high school volunteers. Each week, varsity tennis players from Northside High School come out and volunteer their time to teach younger students from the community the fundamentals of the game. Over the past year we have realized that, investing in the tennis skills, and strengthening the leadership abilities of these high school students is critical to the success of our academy, because we believe it is the foundation of creating a longstanding tennis program and tennis culture in our community.