USTA Eastern offers free tennis lessons in Brooklyn

February 28, 2022

In partnership with the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), the Brooklyn Housing Preservation Experience and the NYC-based HQ Tennis organization, USTA Eastern is bringing free tennis programming to Brooklyn public housing residents. The 40-minute lessons for both adults and kids of all ages kicked off on February 12, 2022 at the Independence Towers Community Center in Williamsburg and will continue weekly through the spring.


Every Saturday, tennis coaches will set up portable nets inside the community center's gymnasium and provide instruction using slower, lower-bouncing tennis balls that help beginners easier grasp the fundamentals of the sport. The free lessons are led by Frances Ferdinand, head coach and co-founder of HQ Tennis LLC.

"I grew up in Brooklyn playing tennis," Ferdinand says. "So to be able to come back and teach other people how to play...people from my neighborhood, people who fit my demographic [and] who are like me, I think is beneficial."


The initiative is part of an ongoing organizational campaign to educate the community about the many health benefits tennis offers. As an aerobic activity, tennis improves the heart's ability to supply oxygen to the rest of the body, decreases fat content and increases muscle mass. The game is also particularly effective at raising HDL cholesterol, or good cholesterol, and a study in Mayo Clinic Proceedings found that playing tennis can increase your lifespan by 9.7 years, a larger increase than any other sport.


Just as importantly, the program helps make tennis more accessible to local residents who maybe wouldn't have picked up a racquet otherwise. 


"To be able to access tennis in your local community center, where you might go to experience other things...is beneficial," Ferdinand says. 

To learn more about the HQ Tennis organization and the work they do in local NYC communities, click here. Watch a brief clip of the USTA Eastern initiative in action below.

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