Middle States

Providers Get Creative

August 05, 2020

Tennis and Learning at Home with NJTL of Trenton


Bob Loonie was excited to give Trenton kids an incredible spring and summer on the tennis courts. Just as quickly as it started, COVID-19 shut it down.


“My first thought was that these kids can’t be cut off,” said Loonie, the Executive Director of NJTL of Trenton. “I knew we couldn’t lose the kids, and we didn’t want them to lose out on the tennis and education we would normally be offering.”


It was time to be creative.


Like a handful of other tennis organizations, Loonie immediately adopted virtual conferencing as a chance to stay connected to the youth in NJTL of Trenton’s program. He worked with the coaches and program staff to offer organized, structured lesson plans on ZOOM, delivering virtual tennis lessons that hit on everything from dynamic stretching to tennis rules, strategy and technique.

While Loonie mentioned there wasn’t full participation, NJTL of Trenton did everything it could to allow kids the chance to participate. The organization even gave out iPads and tablets for families without access to them.


Loonie mentioned that staying in touch with other NJTLs and facilities helped him and his team work through the pandemic and stay connected with their kids. He specifically shouted out Legacy Youth Tennis and Education and its Executive Director, Ron Nano. Legacy also offered digital options for its kids during the shutdown.


“I have so much respect for Ron and what his team does over there,” he said. “I think keeping in touch with others and being open to learning was a big help for us. Now, we take this as an opportunity to step back, think about our goals as an NJTL, and plan for the future.” 


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