After one year off due to the COVID-19 pandemic situation, the Lima Area Tennis Association returned to the Collett Street Courts to again offer area youngsters free tennis training during their annual LATA Tennis Camp.
This longtime tradition in Lima offers children ages 5-17 an opportunity to learn the fundamentals of tennis in a fun, outdoor environment. The program is completely free to the participants, sponsored by the Lima Area Tennis Association and staffed by local tennis pros and college & high school tennis athletes.
“LATA is one of the oldest non-profit tennis programs in the state mandated to “foster inner city children in the game of tennis.” said camp organizer, Keith Davis. “I personally think that the Summer Camp is the sole reason for there to be an organized effort. I can’t watch the activities without thinking of the city tennis program coming to my neighborhood, and the fun that I had with my twin brother.”
LATA members believe in the value of learning the sport of tennis, and strongly support any chance to help children and young adults advance in their skills.
Learning and FUN were both to be found by the participants during the 2021 2-week camp. 28 pee wees (ages 5-8) and 44 juniors (ages 9-17) participated this year. Each day they learned tennis fundamentals through drills, recreational games, and focused practice.
“This was absolutely amazing. This was our first year participating & we will definitely be back! Thank you!” said parent Lori Staley.
“Tennis is a gentlepersons activity” Davis remarked. “You are trusted to make decisions on the spot about an opponent’s skill and adhere to an opponent’s’ description. Playing requires skill, communication and fitness, all while maintaining civility and ethics.”
Parents and students both walked away happy and excited about the experiences.
“My children enjoys the program so much that they wished it would have lasted all summer long. As a mom I could not believe the improvements my children made in just two weeks!” said Amanda Richard.
LATA Camp took place June 8-17, 2021. LATA wants to thank the following sponsors for their support: USTA, Westwood Tennis and Fitness, Lima Parks and Recreation, UNOH, Pajka Eye Center, Alexander Realty, Cenovus Energy, Colors, Dr. Knowles, East of Chicago Pizza, Lima Memorial Health System, Subway, and all LATA members.
Author note: Jennifer Beck’s youngest daughter, Abby, first learned her tennis skills by attending the LATA summer camps, and later attending the LATA indoor winter lessons. Abby, a high school junior, now plays tennis for Lima Senior High School and continues to benefit from skills learned years ago at LATA camps.