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Orange Tennis Initiative Brings Tennis To Syracuse Children

July 11, 2007 03:03 AM
Luke Jensen with Frazer Elementary StudentThe gymnasium at Frazer Elementary School on Park Avenue in Syracuse was filled with the sounds of tennis balls and children’s laughter on the morning of Wednesday, May 30. Syracuse University tennis coaches Luke Jensen and Shelley George came to Frazer to teach the students some fundamentals of the game and show them how fun it can be. The visit was a part of the Orange Tennis Initiative-an interactive set of clinics designed to spark interest in the game of tennis in the Syracuse community. Syracuse University tennis coaches Luke Jensen and Shelley George have a vision. That vision is to spread the game of tennis throughout the Syracuse community, generate increased interest in the sport and create Grand Slam champions right here in Central New York. Through that vision, they have created the Orange Tennis Initiative, which is a program that teaches the fundamentals of the game in a fun and exciting atmosphere. The Orange coaches work in conjunction with the City of Syracuse, the Syracuse City School District, Syracuse University and USTA Eastern.
Jensen and George were at Delaware Academy before visiting two physical education classes at Frazer, and then went to Roberts Elementary afterward. During that same week, Orange Blocks were held on Tuesday-Thursday evenings at each of the four high schools in the City. The week culminated with a huge Tennis Block Party held in conjunction with the Taste of Syracuse. Over 400 people attended that event at Clinton Square on June 2, and well over 1000 people (kids and adults) were exposed to tennis during that week alone. The Orange Initiative continues to move forward. If you are interested in volunteering or learning more about this effort, please contact Shelley George (ihawk10s@aol.com) or Joe Steger (Steger@eastern.usta.com).