Tennis services in East Gainesville are turning beginners into skilled tennis players at a low cost.
Play Tennis Gainesville, Aces In Motion and 100 Black Men of Greater Florida GNV Inc. will host tennis classes for children and adults through October.
The classes will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. through Oct. 22 at T.B. McPherson Recreation Center at 1717 SE 15th St.
The cost is $50 for 6 weeks for each adult or child willing to learn.
Christopher Champion, head tennis professional for Play Tennis Gainesville, is looking forward to the opportunity to teach more residents how to play tennis.
Play Tennis Gainesville is an organization managed by the United States Tennis Association, which offers tennis services at the Joyce Oransky Tennis Center, Tom Petty, TB McPherson and Northside parks.
“All the invested organizations that have collaborated for this project share the common goals of growing all communities in Gainesville in a positive manner,” Champion said. “With this understanding and further communication, we determined that tennis would be the vehicle to do so.”
Tennis has been in Champion’s life since he was three years old with the help of his parents and his father’s strong knowledge of the sport.
Since then, tennis has played an integral part in his life.
Champion later on studied sports management at Barry University in Miami to further his involvement in the sport.
“The reason why being involved in this sport is critical is because of the impact it has had on my life,” Champion said. “Tennis provides important life skills, lessons and mental and physical wellness to all, and it is my passion and love to be able to provide this opportunity to anyone.”
Dallas Baker, health and wellness chair for 100 Black Men of Greater Florida GNV, said the tennis services will provide an optimal opportunity for residents to gain exposure in acquiring a new skill set and improving their wellness overall.
The 100 Black Men of Greater Florida GNV chapter is a group of Black men committed to making a meaningful difference in the community they serve.
“There are significant benefits to playing the sport of tennis,” Baker said. “For instance, being actively engaged in the sport for just 3 hours a week will reduce your risk of heart disease by 56%, and reduce stress, to name a few.”
His hope is that individuals and families within the community take advantage of this experience and gain a newfound appreciation for tennis.
“Health is wealth,” Baker said. “When we can intentionally and actively engage in physical activities, it benefits not only the individual, but the community as a whole.”
Red Ball Tennis 4 Kids will teach tennis to children eight years old and younger, Orange Ball Tennis 4 Kids will be for children 10 years old and younger and Love to Learn Adult Clinic will be for the adults.
“We particularly hope to inspire and encourage our region’s Black male youth to participate as there is a huge opportunity to introduce more of them to the wonderful sport,” said Jamar Hebert, president of 100 Black Men of Greater Florida GNV. “Tennis is a very rewarding sport as it helps you to maintain health, fitness, strength and agility.”
To register, visit https://bit.ly/3k68juh.
“This is the best initiative to expose families to tennis,” said Matt Bowman, vice president of 100 Black Men of Greater Florida GNV. “We are making communities lifetime learners and lifetime exercisers.”