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Helping Kids & Tennis Grow in St. Paul
The focus of our efforts in the city of St. Paul and surrounding communities is integration- of youth, of values, and of opportunities. We are a program that attracts urban youth, encourages multicultural involvement, seeks gender equity, and insists that no one be turned away for financial reasons. But, even more, the St. Paul Urban Tennis Program has as its mission to integrate the diverse cultures that comprise our community. It is our goal to provide an arena where all youth, from all circumstances, can learn and play as one. To this end, we are indeed an urban program. We dedicate our energies to providing that experience for St. Paul area youth.
In addition, we believe that games, such as tennis, serve a larger purpose than themselves. In other words, games are a training opportunity. At the base level, they create a medium for healthy exercies. More importantly, they become a training field for cross-cultural socialization, for values and ethics development, even for self-understanding. Athletics become a mirror, allowing us to know ourselves and, through the guidance of trained instructor-mentors, to point that self-knowledge toward a team, a community effort.
There is a sense of team, of cooperation, of unity that supervised activities can nurture. And sports activities, designed to the teaching of values that can be applied not only in sports, but throughout life, provide a fertile medium for individual growth. The lessons learned in a structured, supervised lifelong game work toward the development of one's character and one's sense of community. We believe that tennis is truly a game that "begins with love and ends with character."