Missouri Valley / Iowa

Ottumwa School District to Include Tennis in all P.E. Classes

Andrea Gallagher | August 31, 2023

Thanks to USTA grants, kids at every grade level in Ottumwa will be exposed to tennis in their physical education classes. 


“We are hoping to increase the interest in tennis in our community as well as start the exposure to tennis with our students at a younger age, instead of them getting into high school and trying it for the first time there,” said Katie Duckworth. “We are also hoping that all students get the opportunity to participate instead of only a few schools due to lack of equipment.”


Duckworth is an elementary school PE teacher in the Ottumwa School District. Last spring, she and two other teachers attended a conference in Alabama where they sat in on a USTA session. From there she came into contact with local USTA representatives and was able to get the Ottumwa School District qualified for free tennis equipment so kids can learn how to play.

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“We learned how to use the equipment, we learned some lessons that could be used for multiple grade levels, and the best part was we were able to try these lessons out and were able to move and be involved the whole time,” she said. “It allowed us to be interactive and to get a chance to use the equipment our students would be using.”


There will be nine schools that benefit from this equipment and every grade level will be covered from kindergarten to seniors. Every school will receive a set along with supplemental equipment such as balls, collapsible nets, and additional racquets for larger classes. The kits arrive next month and will be ready to utilize in the spring. 


John Terpkosh with USTA Iowa said the grants totaled approximately $11,235 including $9,000 from the national level and $2,235 from USTA Iowa.



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