We’re back! On Saturday, May 28, we launched our seventh season of bringing tennis to the kids of Bedford-Stuyvesant.

About 35 students and 15 volunteers turned out at our biggest and oldest tennis club, Marcy. How different it looked from Marcy’s first go six years ago—on that day, not a single student showed up, the court and surrounding grounds were left empty. How far we have come! On Saturday, the tennis court at Marcy Playground roared with energy, surrounded by parents, residents, and other supportive onlookers.

Our student participants were divided into groups by skill and age to practice various skills, drills, and games at learning stations—including rallying, fitness and footwork, and ball passing.

The Off-Court discussion has taken a new format for 2016. Rather than dedicating a station to Off-Court, all volunteers and students will participate in the conversation together under the direction of the Educational Coordinator.

This week’s topic was light; we played a fun name game to facilitate introductions. Everyone individually announced their first name along with a fruit, vegetable, or sport that begins the with the same letter as their name. A six-year-old student, Kyle, took first place for the most creative use of K with Kayaking. Quality Tennis, Lemons, Mangoes, Ice Skating, and Broccoli are honorable mentions.

We wrapped up with two games of breakout and the team cheer. We are looking forward to a strong season of self-improvement, sportsmanship, and fun.