Metro Council Holds Free Tennis Clinic for Essential Workers
Buoyed by the success of a similar event last summer, USTA Eastern’s Metro Region Council hosted another clinic for essential workers on July 9 at the Lincoln Terrace Tennis Courts in Brooklyn. Just like the inaugural installment, the outing served as a thank you to all those who risked their lives to help others during the darkest moments of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Everyone is slowly returning to a new normal after two years of COVID,” said Metro Region Council Director Ioonna Felix, who helped organize the event. “We wanted to create more opportunities for everyone to engage [with tennis], especially since certain restrictions were lifted.”
Just like last year, all 30 participants—who ranged from doctors and nurses to teachers, principals, mail couriers and legal assistants—received instruction from local coaches and also spent a little time rallying with each other. Admission to the session, in accordance with the overall mission of the event, was free of charge for all who attended.
“The overwhelming feedback from attendees was how much happiness and joy they felt while playing,” Felix said. “It’s important to continue to celebrate this group during a frightening time in the world.”
Felix and the Metro Region Council spent several months marketing the endeavor and collaborated with Charles East, president of the Lincoln Terrace Tennis Association, to make it a reality. The event is always particularly personal and meaningful for Felix, who, when not volunteering with USTA Eastern, works as a physical therapist.
“As a healthcare employee who showed up to work every day during the entire pandemic, I wanted to celebrate my fellow essential workers who selflessly did the same,” she said. “It is a way for me to give back to my colleagues, communities and tennis family.”
The council is already discussing a potential third installment in 2023—which, it seems, would certainly meet popular demand.
“I met these two friends who traveled from another borough to participate, which, on the weekends in New York City is not always easy,” Felix said. “At the end of the day they both told me, ‘We want more! We are hooked!’”