Cal Poly Students Hit the Courts on the Central Coast

By Nancy Abrams

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo (SLO) kicked off the new school year in September with the 60th annual Week of Welcome (WOW) new student orientation program.

Over 5,500 incoming students participated in WOW, which is the top-ranked university orientation program in the country.

In an effort to showcase the benefits of recreational tennis to young adults, the SCTA secured a USTA national grant to pilot a program with new students (WOWies) and their student WOW leaders. In May, SCTA staffers, including Madeline Segura, Nancy Abrams and Gina Havelka tested the program with 50 WOW student leaders and program directors, resulting in enthusiastic reviews and a “go” for WOW week.

Brandon Martin, WOW Program Coordinator for New Student and Transition Programs was thrilled with the outcome, stating “It was an amazing event using tennis to bring us together…I loved all of it!”

Orientation Board student leaders Dylan Kinsella and Liz Mader agreed, “Playing tennis was a real bonding experience. We learned and grew together. WOW leaders and their groups will bond while playing actively together!”

Youth racquets, depressurized balls, and mini nets were used to level the playing field at the Cal Poly Tennis complex. During WOW Week, freshmen are kept busy with various activities during 12+ hour days. Thanks to the USTA grant, tennis is now one of those activities. This year, 100 students participated in one on one red ball team tennis challenges, group games, and center court orange ball matches. From future collegiate track stars to budding architects and engineers, all had a great time while playing tennis and cheering on their fellow students.

Following WOW week, the equipment bags, which include game guides, 23” racquets, 18’ nets, and red/orange balls will be available at the Cal Poly Rec Center for current students to check out and use on their leisure time anywhere in San Luis Obispo. Once the WOW leaders go back to their annual spring training in April, the equipment will be used as a tool to promote team work and leadership via games and fun.

Cal Poly SLO is home to the Mustang’s men’s and women’s NCAA Division I tennis teams, along with a championship USTA Tennis on Campus club team.

For more information about the following programs in San Luis Obispo:

Adult League Tennis/Young Adult Programs/ Tennis on Campus opportunities, contact
Madeline Segura, SCTA Assistant Director of Adult Tennis,

Junior Team Tennis/Club/Park & Recreational Programs/School Programs contact
Gina Havelka, SCTA Tennis Service Representative,

Cal Poly SLO Week of Welcome/Tennis Volunteer Opportunities contact
Nancy Abrams, SCTA Manager TGA Premier Tennis,

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