Camp exposes kids to tennis at young age

Haedyn Adams, 4, of East Wilkes, chases a tennis ball during the East Wilkes Summer Tennis Camp.

Campbell Adams, 5, of East Wilkes, volleys during the East Wilkes Summer Tennis Camp.

When it comes to sports in the South, baseball, football and basketball are the mainstays. Tennis, on the other hand, rarely gets the coverage it deserves or the development it deserves.

East Wilkes Head Coach Aaron Simmons is hoping that changes.

For the fifth year in a row, Simmons is hosting a clinic through the end of July for kids. Two weeks into the camp, Simmons reflected on the reason for holding the event.

“We just want to show kids that [tennis] is an option,” Simmons said. “In this area, most of the kids know there’s basketball, baseball and football, but they don’t know that tennis is an option. It’s a lifetime sport.”

Many camps during the summer struggle to get attendance if they are only a one-week deal. Family vacations often mean that some kids cannot attend, even if they want to.

“We open it up all summer for the kids, and since I run it every Tuesday and Thursday throughout the summer, we’re going to catch people and hopefully they find out how much fun tennis really is,” Simmons said.

The clinic is separated by age, and while techniques are learned, Simmons gears the camp towards having fun.

“We don’t get real technical with our little kids, it’s all about developing motor skills to be able to play any sport. I want to plant that seed at an early age that tennis is a lot of fun.”

The availability of such clinics is somewhat of a new thing. Whether it was time or money, clinics like this were hard to come by when Simmons was a kid.

“This is a lot of fun for me, because tennis has been great to me, and it gives me a chance to give back to the community,” Simmons said.

Ryan DeCosta can be reached at 336-258-4052 or via Twitter @rsdecosta.

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