NJTL Special Activity Days Are…

Annually, Special Activity Days bring the LA84 Foundation/NJTL Summer session to a close. Peninsula Tennis Club, in San Diego, hosted the first gathering on July 25th, and Whittier Narrows Tennis Center was the site of the last one on July 29th.

Peninsula Tennis Club

Peninsula Tennis Club

Melanie Bischoff, Southern California Tennis Association Director of Community Tennis, has used her creative organizing skill to make the LA84 Foundation/NJTL Program storied because it dramatically fulfills its mission statement by providing opportunities for the economically disadvantaged to learn to play the game throughout the section.

“There were around eighty participants at the Peninsula Tennis Club,” Bischoff said. “It is a great place.  It is the location that has always been used for Special Activity Day in San Diego.”

With one hundred thirty-four Summer and forty-two Year-Round locations Bischoff is a practiced multi-tasker. Fortunately, she teams with Evan Smith, who is the dependable and steady NJTL Coordinator.

2. No CaptionLooking back on the Special Activity Day, Smith said, “Over three hundred kids descended on Whittier Narrows Tennis Center on a very warm day. This year’s event was held in conjunction with the #ReturnTheServe Fun Day presented by JP Morgan Chase.  Los Angeles was selected, along with nine other NJTL Chapters from across the country, to host an NJTL Fun Day leading up to the U.S. Open.  As part of a Return The Serve promotion, NJTL was the beneficiary of a donation to help increase programming and provide more youngsters with opportunities to learn the game, which will help grow the sport.

“The day, which was filled with tennis activities and fitness training, was capped off by something different that grew out of last year’s Special Activity Day. There was a ‘dance off’ that the kids really seemed to enjoy. The idea was to get everyone on the court and make sure they had fun.”

Kristin Lemkau, Chief Marketing Officer for JPMorgan Chase, pointed out, “The National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL) network is doing great work by giving kids access to tennis who would not otherwise have a way to play. They are not only instructing them on the fundamentals of the sport and how to have fun, but the importance of education as well. This opportunity will surely create a pipeline of athletes and future leaders to come. We are proud to once again partner with the USTA Foundation and join in its efforts of supporting the NJTL network’s positive impact on kids.”

Expanding on Lemkau’s thoughts, Smith added, “The LA84 Foundation/NJTL strives to instill a love for the game in economically disadvantaged areas, and provide children with a chance to play, compete and develop good sportsmanship. The continued support from the LA84 Foundation and the additional donation from JP Morgan Chase enables NJTL to keep giving more and more kids an opportunity to become involved in tennis.”

NJTL has been a stellar resume, having a thirty-year record of success locally, thanks to an all-star cast of instructors whose devotion to the tennis and educational components of the program is legendary. As Bischoff said, “Both events were great fun for the kids.  They were a great success, but those successes wouldn’t have been possible without the help of energetic and passionate NJTL instructors and the SCTA staff. Everyone had a great time which reflected the outcome of a special team effort. I want to thank everyone for their support.”

Mark Winters

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