This summer was another busy one for LA84 Foundation/NJTL. The program offered over 10,000 youngsters an opportunity to learn to play at 150 sites throughout Southern California. Each location provided tennis instruction for a nominal fee over a period of six weeks and concluded with the annual NJTL Special Activity Day.
Every year, the Whittler Narrows Tennis Center in South El Monte hosts the get together. “The NJTL Special Activity Day is the culmination of every summer session,” said Evan Smith, Southern California Tennis Association NJTL/Diversity & Inclusion Manager. “All NJTL participants were invited to participate in the tennis games and the hit for prizes that took place, along with having, as always is the case, a quality In-N-Out Burger lunch.
“On July 27th, the sun was bright and the heat was sweltering, but 250 kids descended on the Whittler Narrows Tennis Center anxious to play. At the start of the day, with the help of volunteers, staff and passionate NJTL coaches, those taking part were separated into groups based on age, and Red, Orange, Green youth progression tennis balls. Once they were in groups, participants ran through drills and games with their NJTL friends.”
An NJTL Special Activity Day would not be complete without the “Hit For Prizes” court. “We are very lucky to have T-shirts, bags, towels, and other goodies donated to the program and because of that, there was a wide variety of giveaways for the kids,” said Melanie Bischoff, Director of Community Tennis, who oversees the LA84 Foundation/NJTL Program.
Bischoff stressed, “NJTL is so fortunate to have had 31 consecutive years of support from the LA84 Foundation. The partnership is one of a kind. Thanks to the funding, thousands of economically disadvantaged youngsters have had a chance to learn to play tennis. The opportunity has made an impact on communities where NJTL is based. The SCTA is lucky that the LA84 Foundation believes in what is being done for so many who need assistance.”
Smith added to that, saying, “The most important part of the NJTL Special Activity Day is, of course, In-N-Out Burger. Humor aside, that’s just a bonus, the most important thing is that everyone has fun with their friends playing tennis. Ultimately, if the kids leave having had a great time, with prizes in their hands, and full stomachs, as well as smiles on their face, we have done our job.”
Bischoff concluded, “It was great to see so many kids enjoying the day playing tennis and being with their friends.”