H.I.T.S. News
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H.I.T.S. Provides Perfect Opportunity for Community Partnership 
 
USTA NorCal's H.I.T.S. program debuted with a bang in a mutually rewarding partnership between Watsonville Police Activities League (PAL) and Starlight Elementary. 
 
H.I.T.S. (Honesty, Inspiration, Teamwork and Sportsmanship) is new 6-8 week program for kids 10 and under that teaches not only the fundamentals of tennis, but also focuses on growing a child’s core values. 
 
The purpose of the H.I.T.S. program aligned so well with both groups who seek to improve the lives of children in their community. Watsonville PAL relies on educational, athletic, and other recreational activities to cement a bond among police officers, recreation leaders, youth and their parents while the principal of Starlight Elementary, Dr. Mark Donnelly, is looking for a ways to promote a healthier and more active lifestyle for his students in a city where more than half of the children are overweight. 
 
Local Tennis Service Representative Adam Mash approached the principal to discuss how the H.I.T.S. program would be a great way for the two groups to meet their goals and help the children in their area. "After meeting with Dr. Donnelly it became clear that H.I.T.S. was a perfect fit for their after-school setting, the kids will be able to experience organized tennis for the first time in a setting where they feel comfortable all while working towards the school's goal of helping kids become healthier." 
 
Starlight Elementary children will benefit from learning a new sport and participating in an activity that will help them lead a more active lifestyle. Another bonus for Starlight Elementary is that the program is free for the students since the Northern California Tennis Foundation grants cover the equipment and program costs. 
 
For Watsonville PAL, the addition of the H.I.T.S. program is a great complement to the other activities they support, which include soccer,golf and martial arts, among others. 
 
“Watsonville PAL is excited to expand its programming to include the H.I.T.S. program. We are always looking for new programs to bring to the community that encourages youth to be active, interact with positive mentorship and build life skills,” said Salas. 
 
There are currently two sessions planned in 2014, one in March and one in the fall but Salas hopes they will be able to sponsor multiple sessions throughout the year. 
 
This is the first H.I.T.S. program to be instituted in Northern California and is an excellent example of how it can be used in local communities to promote the goals of the program while also introducing the sport of tennis to an entirely new audience. 

 
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