2019 Year in Review
In 2019, CDTA, in addition to its work providing tennis instruction within the Chicago Park District, made a concerted effort to introduce tennis to youth throughout Chicagoland.
A.C. Nielsen Kids Day
CDTA hosted more than 160 urban youth from National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL) programs across Chicago at the A.C. Nielsen Pro Tennis Championships in Winnetka. The children, aged 5-17, were transported on July 10 from their home courts to the A.C. Nielsen Tennis Center. On court, 25 volunteers ran drills, games and fun competition for the kids on red ball, orange ball, green/yellow ball courts.
Following a morning of tennis, the youth were treated to a pro exhibition led by Mark Bey with several of the players from the pro tournament followed by a Q & A session. After lunch, the NJTLs were invited to watch the pro players in their afternoon singles matches.
They received USTA goody bags and Play Day t-shirts. This was great exposure for this group of urban youth to tennis.
The NJTLs involved were:
- The Ace Project
- Evanston NJTL
- Friends of CICS Tennis
- Love To Serve
- Maywood Tennis Association
- Tennis Opportunity Program (TOP)
- XS Tennis and Education Foundation
This event was made possible by funding help from Morgan Stanley, USTA National and USTA Midwest.
For more information on youth events, or volunteer opportunities, please contact CDTA Junior Play Director, Barb Rueth at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Southside Tennis Camp
Every Saturday from June 8- August 3, a team of volunteer coaches and USTA staff instructed nearly 60 youth in grades K-8 on the south side of Chicago for the Friends of CICS summer tennis program. These players would not have access to tennis instruction if it were not for this initiative. The Southside Tennis Camp has been running since 2014 at The Lab School tennis courts at The University of Chicago. This past summer, CDTA helped run the program as a Midwest Youth Team Tennis program and every player received a racquet and t-shirt.
For more information on this camp, contact Tennis Service Representative, Sarah Stanchin at email@example.com.
The Ace Project
Each year The Ace Project, whose mission is to nurture children living in underserved communities by building character, confidence, and competency through the sport of tennis, holds a ‘Return The Serve’ tennis block party. This organization targets schools and park districts in the Dolton/Riverdale areas to bring tennis to the community. On July 19, CDTA staff volunteered at Return The Serve to run drills, games and competitions for the area youth. More than 150 children participated in this fun event. Along with tennis, the kids participated in Zumba, face painting and a dance contest. CDTA provided goody bags for the playes and is proud to support the Ace Project.
For more information on The Ace Project, click here.
CDTA Board member Fely Ong has been involved with Adaptive Tennis programs at Homewood-Flossmoor Racquet & Fitness Club (HFR&FC) for almost 7 years. The program at HFR&FC has been in existence for almost 25 years. Players in the Adaptive program represent intermediate to advanced levels and they have participated in tennis competition as part of the Special Olympics.
This year, Fely, with assistance from CDTA, added the iCan Dream Center to the Adaptive program. Midwest and National USTA grants also helped fund this initiative. The iCan Dream Center is an after-school program for youth aged 12-21 with intellectual disability, autism, emotional disturbances and physical impairments located in Hazel Crest. In 2019, iCan students enjoyed: Adaptive Fun Play Day, a six-week Summer Beginners Adaptive Tennis program, a Team Ball Challenge, and a 13-week Fall Beginners Tennis program.
For more information contact Fely at firstname.lastname@example.org.