Tennis, Girl Scouts Team Up for Clinics
For five weeks in October and
November, young girls from Holyoke learned the fundamentals
of tennis from those at Smith who compete in the sport.
Smith’s tennis team invited members of Girl Scout Troupe
51 to join them on their home courts in the Indoor Track and
Tennis facility to build their racquet skills in individual
and group instruction. With tennis team members’ coaching,
the Girl Scouts improved their footwork, reviewed the general
rules of the game, sharpened their shot selection and broadened
their repertoires to include a full arsenal of forehands,
backhands and volley shots.
“With tennis being more of an individual sport, participants
are able to develop at their own pace,” says Chris Davis,
head coach of tennis, about the program. “This program
is not about being a competitive tennis player. Rather, it’s
about learning. The student-athletes are teaching the skills
once taught to them, and the children are learning a new sport
and developing self esteem through physical activity. It’s
a win-win situation.”
Smith Tennis has traditionally incorporated a component of
community service into its playing seasons by offering a number
of clinics for various age groups throughout the year.
“Any time we do community service, it strengthens our
connection as Smith student-athletes to the community,”
says Whitney Browne ’08, a tennis team member. “As
in-season athletes, meeting with these girls for the last
five weeks has offered a time for us to let loose on the court.
We see the benefit our teaching affords these young girls,
as well as the team-building experience being here provides
us. These girls get so excited to see us each week, which
puts the game of tennis into perspective for us as student-athletes
and as tennis players.”
The Girl Scouts clinic was made possible through a grant from
the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA).