H.I.T.S. News
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H.I.T.S. is Taking Off in Northern California 
 
Although USTA NorCal's H.I.T.S. program is still relatively new, the response and implementation of the program in local communities has been immediate.

One particular region already boasts several very successful partnerships and collaborations with several organizations already in progress. 
 
Jennifer Castle — the Tennis Service Representative for Placer, El Dorado, Sacramento, Amador and Alpine Counties — is excited about how well the H.I.T.S. program has successfully been received and incorporated in community activities and organizations in her area. 
 
H.I.T.S. (Honesty, Inspiration, Teamwork and Sportsmanship), is 6-8 week tennis program for kids 10 and under that introduces the fundamentals of tennis, but also focuses on a curriculum to enhance a 
growing child’s core values. 
 
“When they learn about H.I.T.S., they can easily see what a great addition it would be to their current curriculum” said Castle. 
 
They are run by individuals in the groups, but training is provided to coaches and all participants receive a H.I.T.S. t-shirt, wristband, ball, certificate and players/parents manual. 
 
Some of the collaborations that are currently incorporating H.I.T.S. in Castle’s area include: 
 

  • The Placer County Police Activities League along with the county’s probation office is partnering with the Auburn Boys and Girls Club to run a Summer H.I.T.S. league. 

 

  • The Sacramento Community Impact Program (SCIP) and the Arden Manor Park and Recreation District collaborated to incorporate H.I.T.S. into their after-school program at a local elementary school. 

 

  • Sacramento START program — which helps children gain knowledge, expand their universe outside neighborhood boundaries, provide opportunities to grow and flourish, build and develop trust and create and fulfill dreams — is running the program in 22 sites at four different school districts. 

 

  • Girl Scouts Heart of Central California just completed a 6-week H.I.T.S. League at the Rollingwood Racquet Club in Fair Oaks. 

 

  • The Center for Fathers and Families, whose mission is to strengthen families and build communities in the Greater Sacramento region by offering a network of programs & services that lead to family growth, enrichment, and empowerment, are running H.I.T.S. programs in six sites within the Twin Rivers Unified School District. 

 
There are several reasons why the H.I.T.S. program is such a good fit for these types of community groups. For one, it is easily adaptable for organizations or individuals that do not have local tennis courts or easy access to the sport. 
 
“Tennis can be taught with just a ball, a racquet and a flat surface area to start,” said Castle. In fact, many of the programs being held in her area take place in an elementary school gym or playground. “Also, tennis has no socio-economic barrier and can be played anywhere, by anyone,” she continued. 
 
Additionally, the program is set up to properly handle the younger age range of the participants. The use of “right-sized” equipment — in regards to weight, length, speed and size — allows young players to learn and play more effectively. 
 
And, although the examples given before include many not-for-profits and government entities, an organization can participate no matter their tax status.

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