Tennis at the beach

 

Sarah Huber, 9 participates in the Kiwanis Summer Tennis Academy at the Douglas Park tennis courts on Tuesday. The Academy is conducted by the Manistee Recreation Association. (Brian Fogg/News Advocate)

Sarah Huber, 9 participates in the Kiwanis Summer Tennis Academy at the Douglas Park tennis courts on Tuesday. The Academy is conducted by the Manistee Recreation Association. (Brian Fogg/News Advocate)

MANISTEE — The Manistee Recreation Association has a strong turnout at its annual tennis camp with the help of the Kiwanis Club this year.

The Kiwanis Summer Tennis Academy, that started Monday and will go on to Friday, has about 60 attendees from kindergarten through eighth grade from around Manistee county.

“60 kids is about where we’ve been for the last couple of years,” Manistee Recreation Association executive director Kenny Kott said. “We’ve had upwards of 80 or 90 before, but this is about where we usually are.”

Lessons are free with help from the Kiwanis Club with the intention of introducing more kids to the game.

“We don’t know how long they’ll maintain that interest, but a lot of them will come out and probably play tennis or even beyond that,” tennis instructor John Rice said.

“It’s amazing to see all of the kids who come out and have a ball. This is a camp that we love doing,” Kott said. “We partner with the Kiwanis and they cover the fee for the camp.”

Tennis camp be an expensive sport, especially for private lessons, but the lessons provided at the camp are free to help encourage younger players to become more involved in the game.

“It can definitely be expensive for the equipment and the lessons. We’re trying to get them involved as much as we can. That’s why we do these camps to get the kids involved in this lifelong sport,” Kott said.

“This is a good camp. We go through all of the fundamentals and the main thing is that we want the kids to have fun. We hope the parents enjoy coming here and contributing to just making the sport go,” Rice said.

Rice points to tennis as being a sport that works on every aspect of an athlete’s game through coordination and conditioning, which can attract athletes of all types.

“It’s so good for physical fitness. Every part of the body is moving. It’s a really healthy thing. You’re running and moving your arms and thighs,” Rice said. “It offers a great opportunity for hand-eye coordination. You can play a lot of other sports, any racket game especially. It’s growing in popularity and youth tennis is especially important for the sport.”

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Posted by Brian Fogg

Brian is the sports writer for the Manistee News Advocate. You can reach him at (231) 398-3110 or bfogg@pioneergroup.com.

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