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Manhasset Teens Recycle Tennis Equipment, Launch Free Clinic

A group of Manhasset High School tennis players collected gently used tennis equipment during the past school year which they used to launch a free tennis clinic in their neighborhood for children ages 10 and under this summer. They also donated equipment to a needy tennis program in Brooklyn.
 Matt Holweger says he heard about the Kings County Tennis League on a local TV news show last fall and immediately knew he wanted to help the Bedford Stuyvesant based group while also learning from that organization’s example and creating a tennis clinic in his own neighborhood.
 Holweger, who will be a senior in the fall, has been on Manhasset’s Varsity tennis team since 8th grade and was a team captain this year. He says the news story he saw about the Brooklyn group inspired him to launch his own equipment collection program and start a clinic to benefit the non-profit Adventures in Learning/the Manhasset/Great Neck EOC summer program.
 The Kings County Tennis League serves over 100 children ages 5-13 in four public housing complexes in the area. After hearing about it, Holweger says, “I was really impressed by (their) story and … realized I would have to come up with a way to gather equipment” if he wanted to start his own clinic. Matt’s online research led him to Kids Serving Kids, a nationwide organization that collects and recycles tennis rackets for under served youth. He founded the group’s Long Island chapter, enlisted some friends and began collecting rackets and planning for a summer tennis program.
 “We have collected over 120 rackets and $1,300 in donations to date,” Matt says. The cash was used to purchased additional rackets, USTA 10-and-under nets and other equipment for the Kings County Tennis League. Kids Serving Kids LI presented the equipment to Michael McCasland, founder, at the June ribbon cutting ceremony for the resurfaced Marcy Housing Project tennis court in Brooklyn.
 “We are Manhasset High School and USTA tennis players looking to spread the joy of tennis to children in need on Long Island and the New York tri-state area,” Matt says. “Our goal is to provide local children with the ability to experience and benefit from the skills learned through the game of tennis. By collecting and recycling gently used tennis rackets, we can provide the tools needed on a cost free basis.”



 Photo caption: (from left) Matt Holweger (at microphone), Brett Weisberg, Brooke DiGia and tennis coach Greg Streat.