Each week we visit our Champions of Southern California Tennis – those who go above and beyond to promote and grow the game throughout SoCal and beyond. These individuals and organizations deliver the game of tennis to a variety of audiences, often in places where the significance of tennis goes far beyond the court itself. As we share their stories with you, we commend their ongoing efforts to grow the game and make positive, life-changing impacts on those they touch.
First Serve Santa Ana (FSSA) is a non-private organization that teaches tennis to children in Santa Ana, California. The focus is on teaching children 10 and under, but the program also teaches tennis to students through high school. FSSA sets out to provide its participants with the ability to “develop integrity, leadership, and a competitive spirit in a friendly environment.” FSSA wants to make Santa Ana a tennis city by encouraging more people to play tennis.
The need for FSSA became quite evident to a few Santa Ana Unified School District (SAUSD) tennis coaches. They knew that the City of Santa Ana wanted to get children playing tennis at an earlier age. Rather than only taking in children without previous tennis experience, FSSA now has children entering their program with such experience, which has created a more competitive and enthusiastic environment.
FSSA’s tennis programming is offered to after-school students at Adams, Harvey, and Taft Elementary Schools. Additionally, FSSA uses the Carr Intermediate School and the McFadden Intermediate School for tennis programming. All of the programming that FSSA provides has been approved by the SAUSD.
Every year, FSSA organizes Saturday Play Days, a day designed for fun through playing tennis. The event is held at the McFadden Intermediate School from 9 a.m. through the afternoon. In addition to creating an environment where children can have fun playing tennis, FSSA uses Saturday Play Days to raise funds in order to continue tennis activity during the school year.
Last fall, FSSA also teamed up with the Kiwanis Club of Santa Ana, the SAUSD, and the USTA/SCTA for The First Annual Wheelchair Tennis Event, which saw more than 200 Special Needs Students being exposed to tennis. The event was such a success that the Second Annual Wheelchair Event has been scheduled for September 7, 2017.
For additional information, please call 1-714-675-5802, or www.firstservesantaanatennis.org.