Oct. 3, 2019
USC students share love of tennis
Ten Upper St. Clair students recently combined forces to offer the first-ever Tennis Fun Day at Highland Park. The goal of the event, which was held on Saturday, Sept. 14, was to promote and grow the sport of tennis and encourage children to be physically active and healthier. Approximately 30 children and 10 adults participated in the city-wide tennis outreach program.
The Tennis Fun Day was led by Upper St. Clair High School junior, Harrison Chui and parents Lynn Ellenberger, Chrissy Gargani, and Stephanie Le. Other student volunteers included Upper St. Clair High School students Walter Oppelt, Anna Rush, Jay Vakil, Eric Wang, Constantine Tripodes and Gavin Tauch, along with Fort Couch Middle School students Autumn Ma, Evie Ellenberger and Lou Gargani. In addition, student volunteers from surrounding communities as far as Indiana and Erie also participated including Lauren Masteller, Isabella Gaydosh, Zach Palko and Matthew Prenovitz.
In preparation for the event, the tennis players collected more than 100 gently used tennis racquets from the surrounding communities and acquired donations of new children’s racquets from the U.S. Tennis Association, whose AMD council also provided monetary support for the Tennis Fun Day. The used racquets were given a freshened up with new strings and grips generously donated by Gamma and distributed to the attendees who did not have a racquet of their own.
“It was an event where participants of all ages, levels and abilities engaged with the high school tennis players' energy, enthusiasm, and instruction, showing that at its core, tennis is a fun sport that transcends age and ability,” Ms. Ellenberger said.
The high school tennis players served as coaches throughout the day. They devised tennis drills and games to keep the young participants engaged while teaching the fundamental strokes of tennis.
“This has been a great experience for not only the kids joining the Tennis Fun Day, but for all the tennis players helping out,” Harrison said. “There was a sense of giving back to the community and teaching young kids what we love to do.”
The volunteers and players hope to continue the program in the spring. For more information, visit NetandClay.com.