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David Dinkins Tennis Club Classes Gears Up for Harlem Kids



By: Sylvia Lewis,

The David Dinkins Tennis Club will hold free summer tennis classes starting July 14 – September 30, 8 – 10AM. Classes will be held at Harlem’s famed “Jungle” tennis courts at the Frederick Johnson Park, 150th Street and 7th Avenue, where Althea Gibson, the first African American to win Wimbledon, the French Open and the US Open, first learned to play.

Registration is ongoing and open to five-ten-year-old children and their families. All equipment, including racquets, balls, court lines and nets have been provided by a grant from the US Tennis Association (USTA), Eastern Section, and private donations.

Returning for the third year, this program is unique in its USTA-certified training methods that focus on age-appropriate equipment and instruction for children and involves parent or family participation, according to Sam Penceal, program director. He will be ably assisted by USTA-certified instructors Lou Reid, Martha Ho Sang and Abdul Agawiyy.

“The children in this program will receive top-quality instruction designed to instill love of the game, success, safety with an emphasis on developing agility, balance and coordination,”

Penceal said.


He explained that the USTA’s “Ten and Under” method requires smaller courts, shorter racquets and less pressurized balls. By using age-appropriate equipment, the level of frustration is eliminated. Including the parents and family in the training reinforces technique and supports the children’s progress, Penceal explained. The club is also happy to offer a sports activity that can prevent obesity and be played over the course of one’s whole life.

“Who knows? We may discover another Althea Gibson or Serena and Venus Williams. We firmly believe that tennis develops life skills such as discipline, teamwork and sacrifice that can build a successful adult life,”

Penceal added.
To register, call 917-687-2576 or email: PRINCSAM@AOL.COM.

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