HUGHESTOWN — More than 30 youngsters came out to the first Middle States Rally Stars Summer Tennis Camp sponsored by the Pittston Area girls tennis team held Monday through Thursday, July 18-21.
The camp, designed for children in kindergarten through fourth grade, was held at the Pittston Area tennis courts at the Martin L. Mattei Middle School. The participants were treated to four days of instruction from United States Tennis Association (USTA) certified instructors.
Money for the summer camp was issued via a grant from the USTA. The grant allowed the team to buy equipment, which included smaller rackets and nets, snacks and T-shirts. Each camper received a T-shirt.
Each counselor for the camp, which included members of the Pittston Area girls tennis team, took a course and became certified 10-and-under instructors. USTA Middle States Tennis Service Rep Renee Lentz was also on hand for the event.
“This program really focused on the fundamentals,” camp organizer Susan Connors said. “It’s meant to be fun and fast-paced, and keep the kids engaged.”
Pittston Area tennis coach Amanda Carmody was pleased her team was there to help the younger generations of tennis players in the Greater Pittston area.
“My girls were absolutely amazing this week,” she said. “I’m so proud of them for their hard work and their dedication to the camp. Using that in our season can bring more girls in. We’re trying to bring tennis back to life.”
The camp maxed out at 32 participants, and some had to be turned away, Connors said.
The group of participants were divided into eight teams: royal blue, cardinal, orange, cherry, lime, Irish, daisy and sapphire. Throughout the four-day camp, the participants learned fundamentals, and also played competitive matches.
“This was focused on the fact that it’s a sport you can play your entire life,” Connors said.
Monies raised from the camp will go to help with the tennis team’s end-of-year banquet, senior night and equipment. Connors and Carmody hope this is something the team can do every year, with approval of the school district.
“We’re trying to build it,” Carmody said. “Think of the future, if these kids have been playing since grade school, we’ll be a top competitor within the state.”
Reach Nick Wagner at 570-991-6406 or on Twitter @Dispatch_Nick