NJTL REGIONAL RALLY
More than 400 kids from around Northern California joined USTA NorCal for another free National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL) Regional Rally held on August 7 in San Francisco at the Golden Gate Park Tennis Complex.
The free annual event was a perfect opportunity for underserved youth in Northern California to increase their tennis experience with on-court drills, games and organized match play for every skill level. Staff from USTA Northern California was on-hand to identify players that show potential and speak with them about the possibility of taking their game to new heights.
“We have been doing this event for more than 20 years and every year the kids have a blast,” said Jon Fierabend who managed the event and heads the NJTL program in NorCal. “We love working with these kids who normally wouldn’t be introduced to tennis and watch as they fall in love with the sport and have so much fun playing with their friends.”
Thanks to the generous sponsorship of JP Morgan Chase, kids were also treated to fun activities throughout the day, including face painters, a balloon artist, and music from a DJ featuring a dance contest. A free lunch from Subway was served to all kids in attendance and prizes were also awarded throughout the day and included items such as Wilson bags and essential back-to-school items.
Kids also had the chance to meet Vida Blue - a former Major League Baseball Cy Young winner who played for the Oakland Athletics and San Francisco Giants - who was on hand to join in the festivities!
The purpose of NJTL goes beyond just teaching kids tennis skills, but seeks to develop the character of young people by reaching out to those who may not otherwise have the opportunity to play tennis, instill in kids the values of leadership and academic excellence and give all kids (regardless of income, race, gender) the opportunity to fully develop their tennis skills so they can derive a lifetime of enjoyment from the sport.
The educational components of NJTL are diverse in nature, but can vary from things like mentoring, and drug and alcohol counseling, to computer skills training, health and nutrition, and college preparation.