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ARIZONA’S HEART & SOL: Tucson Community Tennis Program introducing sport to underprivileged kids

Published: Dec. 10, 2021 at 11:06 AM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The Tucson Community Tennis Program is a non-profit that teaches tennis to underprivileged children.

“We are lighting a fire I think,” said TCTP Program Coordinator Stacy Renner.

Tennis, much like golf, is not a cheap sport to get into. The financial requirements can prevent large portions of the community from enjoying the game.

The TCTP hopes to change that.

“Usually it requires money and usually it requires going to a club,” Renner said. “What we do is offer the opportunity to do it without either of those things.”

The benefits of the program stretch far beyond forehands and backhands. TCTP Board President Peggy Ingraham makes sure of it.

“Many school budgets eliminate PE. With COVID, many of them are not having the opportunity to have any physical fitness,” Ingham said. “This is an opportunity for us to get them active and make them feel good about themselves.”

For its work, the Tucson Community Tennis Program has been named this week’s Arizona Heart & Sol. Each week, KOLD and Casino Del Sol recognize those who are doing good in the community. To nominate a person or group, please go to https://www.kold.com/page/heart-sol/. To read more Heart & Sol stories, go to https://www.kold.com/news/kold-heroes/.

One of the teachers at a clinic Thursday morning said the program is making a difference in the lives of her students.

She said students who are absent more often than not always show up for class on tennis days. She said a number of other students told her they couldn’t sleep Wednesday because they were so excited about getting the chance to play at the University of Arizona.

“For many of the kids, this is a chance for them to have success in their day,” Ingraham said. “They may not be the best at math or the best readers, but they can succeed in this.”

The TCTP offers Saturday clinics for first grades through high school-aged kids in southern Arizona at Pueblo High. The clinics are 2 hours long and are completely free.

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