Tennis balls were everywhere, youngsters dotted the courts and smiles were aplenty during youth tennis lessons at Parque de Vida tennis courts on May 20.
Sponsored by the City of Cortez and organized by local tennis player Paul Morey, the lesson was the third of four that will be offered to young tennis players this spring.
According to Morey, the youth tennis program was conceived in hopes of spurring the sport’s growth in the Cortez community, which has not offered youth tennis lessons in several years.
“Last year, when the high school boys’ tennis team did not have enough kids to form a team, I thought it was kind of sad,” Paul Morey said. “One of the purposes of this program is to create a group of kids that can one day become high school players.”
Drills offered during the lesson consisted of those designed to introduce young players to the fundamentals of the game. Several volunteers, including parents and local high school players from the girls’ team demonstrated proper grips for forehands and backhands while simultaneously teaching basic footwork.
Among the many talented young players in attendance was 7-year-old Sam Morey, whose powerful backhand consistently sailed over the head of his nearby coach much to the chagrin of the young players around him, who were clearly enthralled by their peer’s power.
“Tennis is really fun because you can get a really big swing,” Sam Morey said.
With one lesson remaining during the spring session, a definitive plan for the future of the program has yet to be developed, but organizers are hopeful that lessons will again be offered in the fall and in years to come.
We’re hoping to offer some pickup games for kids over the summer and then we’ll start up with lessons again in the fall,” Morey said.
“Tennis is a really cheap and accessible to families and it is so much fun. We’re really trying to get not only kids, but also parents, involved so that everyone can play and learn.”