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Smith 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).

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