News | July 2, 2012

Game, Set, Match

By Senior Airman Wesley Farnsworth Joint Base Langley-Eustis Public Affairs

A new tennis program, offered by the Child Youth and School Services office at Fort Eustis, Va., aims to teach youth a new sport in a safe and open environment.

The program, which is brand new to Ft. Eustis, is for anyone 10-years-old and under.

"The program allows youth to sample tennis through supervised play and interactive activities," said Michell Jones, CYSS Sports and Fitness director. "It's a great way for youths to be introduced to tennis in a safe, open-play setting within the youth sport program."

The program introduces its students to the sport though a quick-start format Jones explained.

"This enables youths to practice and play real tennis on a minor scale, and allows them to play and learn at the same time," Jones said. "They learn the basic motor skills necessary to play organized tennis while working one-on-one with a staff member."

During the training sessions, participants learn how to perform skills like the forehand and backhand strokes, volleying and serving with accuracy is mind.

The new program will be offered twice a year, once in the spring and summer, and again in the fall season.

Nine-year-old Tomiko Hope, whose favorite player is Serena Williams, is one of the children currently participating in the program.

"I saw it (tennis) being played on the television and it looked like a lot of fun, so I decided I wanted to play too," Hope said. "I love playing and I always do my best when I'm out here."

Jennifer Dabney, whose husband is assigned to the U.S. Navy vessel: USS Enterprise and has been deployed often over the last couple years, has three children that take advantage of this program.

"This is a great program. With my husband being deployed on so much it's given my children something new to do that they can share with him when he is home," Dabney said. "It also helps them focus on something that they are excited about doing instead of the day-to-day challenges military children can face."

The programs overall goal is to get enough youth participating to form a league and eventually play in tournaments.

"The program is open to family members of active duty, retired, reserve, and DA Civilian," Jones said.

For more information contact the Youth sport office at 757-878-3724 or 757-878-0833, or visit their web site at www.eustismwr.com.
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