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Racquet Drive Pays Dividends for Students

February 13, 2009 04:54 PM
Racquet Drive 1The USTA Long Island Region, just in time for the 2008 Holidays held a used racquet drive with the goal of collecting 100 adult and junior racquets. Almost any condition was acceptable. The donated racquets were restrung or re-gripped, if needed, and put to good use teaching beginner tennis players at parks and schools all over Long Island this Spring.

Thanks to the generosity of many Long Islanders the Hempstead High School girl’s tennis team will have more racquets and a case of new tennis balls (thanks to the USPTA) to play with this year. According to Wendi Hasbun, a USTA no-cut coach, these girls have worked hard at playing what for many is a non-traditional sport in this mostly minority community. We have 22 girls on the team, all of diverse backgrounds and tennis has helped them to be more understanding of each others cultures and lifestyles. They all get along great, says Wendi, and it’s all thanks to tennis.

According to Dr. Bob Cincotta, Athletic Director for Hempstead Schools, these girls have really come to love the sport. Each day during the season they have to walk, jog and run about a mile to the nearest tennis courts because the courts at the school are in such disrepair. They all take it good naturedly and say that it is part of their conditioning program.

As for the team’s record, Wendi says they are building momentum. It is difficult to have the girls practice year round because they don’t own racquets and must return them to the school at the end of the season. This generous donation of racquets and balls should go a long way in making tennis a lifetime sport for my girls.

If you need racquets for your program or want to donate some, contact your Tennis Service Representative Bill Mecca.