The GSRC Eclipse make their first ever JTT National Championship appearance.
© Jennifer Pottheiser
by Sarah Houseknecht, Special to USTA.com
Cayce, S.C. -- Not so long ago, USTA Junior Team Tennis was nowhere to be found in Baltimore, Md. The Green Spring Racquet Club (GSRC) started their JTT program three years ago and the hard work of the players, coaches, parents and volunteers has finally paid off. GSRC is proud to see not only one, but two of their teams make their first trip to the JTT National Championships this year in Cayce, S.C.
The GSRC Static Noize (Intermediate) coached by Kin Siew and GSRC Team Eclipse (Advanced) coached by Jackson Tsai are representing the USTA Mid-Atlantic Section at Nationals. These teams are just two of a large group of teams that has earned their first trip to JTT Nationals this season.
"The kids are elated to be here at Nationals. Last year we got blocked out in Sectionals and the team really came together and worked hard to get to this point," said Tsai. "Tennis is usually such an individual sport; JTT is what it is all about. It is so great to see tennis in this team atmosphere where kids are working together for a common goal."
Shortly after JTT took hold in Baltimore, the Green Spring Tennis & Educational Foundation was started. The foundation is a non-profit organization that helps promote the development and growth of tennis for adults and youth in the Baltimore County community and surrounding areas, according to the organization’s website www.gstef.org
. The foundation runs the local JTT program, covering practice facility expenses and registration fees for the 18 GSRC players attending Nationals.
"Green Spring Racquet Club is an indoor facility which provides an opportunity to play year-round tennis, but the cost for court time is expensive," said Janet Paulsen, Vice President of the Green Spring Tennis Educational Foundation. "Our foundation makes it possible for families who otherwise would not be able to afford a program like USTA JTT by offsetting the fees and costs for any student either with partial or full financial assistance."
The players and parents have followed the lead of the Green Spring Tennis & Educational Foundation by giving back their time at local 10-and-Under Tennis tournaments to further grow the sport of tennis in Baltimore.