By Erin Bruehl, USTA.com
Over 70 kids came out to the Scheper Tennis Academy on Tennis Night in America on February 28 for a night of tennis drills, games, food and, above all, fun.
Scheper Tennis Academy in Beaufort, S.C., is one of over 700 facilities across the country that is hosting a Youth Registration event during March to encourage more kids to play the game and sign up for lessons.
It was the second straight year that Scheper Tennis Academy hosted an event, and this year it had three courts set up, for beginner, intermediate and advanced players. Kids on each court were fed balls to hit, and then targets were set up for the kids to hit and win prizes.
There was also face painting and music playing, and several local restaurants donated food for the event, including pizzas, hot dogs, fried chicken and munchkins from Dunkin’ Donuts.
A 10 and Under Tennis court was set up as the beginner court for the younger players. 10 and Under Tennis, featuring the QuickStart Tennis play format, scales the game down to the size of the children, featuring a shorter court, smaller racquets and low-compression balls.
Many teenagers also came out for the event and took the intermediate and advanced courts for target practice. The kids all enjoy working with Larry Scheper, certified professional and owner of the academy.
"Larry Scheper, he is like the pied piper for the kids," said Janice Johnson, program organizer at the Scheper Tennis Academy. "He just attracts kids. He works with them and has high respect for the kids. He is a very good player, and he knows how to transfer his skills so the kids can understand.
"We had a nice turnout," she added of their youth registration event. "This Tennis Night in America turned out really good."