For 6 Mondays this winter Ellington High School, and Ellington USTA JTT coaches Rich Willis and Gary Marquez, led Ellington Middle School Wildcat students in an afterschool program at East Hartford Tennis Club.
The program included 15 Ellington students of various talemt levels who came out each week for instruction, hitting, and fun.
The program was a cooperative venture between the Friends of Ellington Tennis, the Ellington Middle School, and USTA New England. The Ellington Middle School provided busing to East Hartford Tennis Club and presented this program through their afterschool program. USTA New England provided partial financial support and shirts for the kids, and the Friends of Ellington Tennis provided the instructors and racquets for all participants. Middle school tennis programs have been targeted for growth by the USTA as history has shown a number of kids who pick up the sport at a younger age as part of their YouthTennis program are lost to other sports, due to a missing formalized middle school tennis program.
The Ellington kids will formally finish this program with a play date at Est Hartford Tennis Club on Sunday, March 26th, 11:00-1:00. IN this play date, kids from Vernon Center Middle School, Illing MIddle School, Timothy Edwards Middle School, and Suffield Middle School are expected to join the Ellington kids and possibly form the foundation for a Fall 2017 middle school tennis league.