2019 Chase Return The Serve Event Continues to Unite Community Through Tennis
Although it started cloudy, the Chase Return The Serve event turned out to be a beautiful sunny day. Taking place at the famous Mission Dolores Park, in San Francisco, CA, on July 12, 2019, it was a full day of celebration. Over 150 kids age 5 to 14 years old, showed up for a fun day of tennis, dancing, along with doing arts and crafts. “The Chase Return The Serve event continues to inspire the next generation of tennis players with not only the love of tennis, but the beauty of art and the power of education,” Lou Maunupau, Tennis Program Coordinator for the San Francisco Recs and Parks said. “It’s an innovative approach that sees the young aspiring tennis youth holistically,” Maunupau, a pioneer at Golden Gate Park explained.
After going from station to station for over an hour to play tennis, dance, and draw, it was time for the famous dance-off. As it is costumed at the Chase Return the Serve event, it wouldn’t be a proper celebration without a dance-off. This year, the surprise guest turned out to be surprise guests. To help the aspiring tennis players finish the day on a high note, none other than the Golden State Breakers (the Warriors Cheerleaders) came to shake it off with the crowd. Before the start of the dance-off, the Golden State Breakers showed off some of their moves in front of an enthusiastic crowd. A couple of the coaches even joined them as the kids cheered them on. Finally, it was time to see who was going to be the last dancer on the court. With help from the Golden State Breakers, it was an afternoon to remember.
At the end of the day, everyone was gathered in the beautiful park to support the San Francisco Recs and Parks that was receiving a $15,000 grant from Chase to increase programming. “The Chase Return the Serve event is key in the grassroots effort to grow awareness of the sport as it brings together organizations that otherwise might not be in contact with one another,” David Resnick-Dunn, Tennis Service Representative for San Francisco and San Mateo said. “Local partners such as Chase, the USTA, and San Francisco Recs and Parks are able to build goodwill in the local community by offering fun and safe events that parents can feel comfortable sending their children to.” Maunupau echoed this sentiment by stating that “the grant makes it possible to reach more children, especially those families with challenges that can make tennis participation difficult.” With his contagious energy, he ended on this note: “It’s one more racquet, one more tennis ball, one more youth to engage in the greatest sport known to mankind.”