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Established in 1993, the Tucson Community Tennis Program is Tucson's only private, non-profit organization bringing free tennis to elementary and middle school children. TCTP's focus is on multi-cultural schools in Tucson's inner city, where funding is too limited to provide physical education instructors.
TCTP believes that tennis can provide a lifetime of fun and good health at minimal cost. Tennis is a unique individual sport that effectively teaches self-discipline, cooperation and good sportsmanship. It helps develop self-esteem, which, in turn, will help children become productive members of their communities. An important goal of TCTP is that of helping children take a step in making tennis a lifetime sport.
We send a team of professional tennis instructors and experienced volunteers to school playgrounds for 6 weeks of beginner lessons on playground mini courts. The final session is held at Reffkin Tennis Center. At this "graduation" each child receives a can of tennis balls and a new tennis racquet and participates in fun games led by our tennis pros. In the 2008/2009 school year nearly 900 children from eleven schools participated in TCTP programs. TCTP recently changed the "Next Level" after school program to include any children interested in participating. As a result, approximately 200 children participated compared to 100 in the previous year. Also, in cooperation with Tucson Parks and Recreation's Reffkin Tennis Center, Palo Verde, Catalina and Pueblo High Schools, the children from the after school program are invited to continue free lessons at these locations for a minimum of 5 weeks. The Excel Program at Himmel Park provides more advanced instruction and competition aimed at preparing selected students to play on their high school tennis teams. The program is currently attended by approximately 20 students.
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