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Partnership brings tennis to Minges Unit

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Sunday, January 22, 2017

WINTERVILLE — The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Coastal Plain last week received a training and tennis equipment package from National Junior Tennis and Learning as part of a program to connect tennis and education. The program is a partnership with the North Carolina Tennis Foundation, North Carolina Tennis Association and the Downeast Community Tennis Association.

Rodney Bailey, a representative of the DCTA, presented the startup equipment at Jack Minges Unit on Fire Tower Road in Winterville on Thursday. It included foam tennis balls, shorter child-size racquets and a pop up net so the children can begin playing immediately.

“This will enhance our Triple Play Program which is a healthy lifestyle program that has three components, mind, body and soul,” said Heather Joyner, Unit Director at Jack Minges Unit. “The ‘mind’ is nutrition and the importance of physical activity. The “body” is the actual physical activity and the “soul” is team building and conflict resolution.” 

The NJTL program is a national effort. Through modified tennis equipment, tennis courts are not required to participate. Many sites run their program in their gym space, parking lots, or multipurpose rooms. The educational aspect of NJTL is covered by numerous programs that Boys & Girls Clubs offer, but can also be supplemented by USTA Foundation Curriculums that connect tennis to topics in math, reading, nutrition and much more.

“Boys & Girls Clubs of the Coastal Plain will be a great addition to the network,” Bailey said.

The North Carolina Tennis Foundation was organized in 1961 for the purpose of promoting tennis and later was responsible for forming its sister organization, the North Carolina Tennis Association. The foundation provides financial support to many tennis programs across the state. These programs include the NJTL Network, the NC State High School Championships, Wheelchair Tennis, and numerous grants.

The Downeast Community Tennis Association was formed in April 2000. Its goals are to promote tennis in eastern North Carolina, to bring new persons into tennis in its area, and to benefit the existing tennis community. The DCTA Board members along with the Area 3 Director of NC Tennis and the NC Tennis Foundation plan a continued relationship with Boys & Girls Clubs of the Coastal Plain in its efforts to promote tennis.

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