Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Pro Introduces Youths to Tennis

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Pro Introduces Youths to Tennis

Article excerpt

The nets were low and the boundaries narrow at the Boca Royale Country Club in Englewood as an enthusiastic group of children took to the club's tennis courts as part the Nickelodeon Worldwide Day of Play.

A combined effort by the U.S. Tennis Association and the cable television channel for children, the on-court action Sept. 22 also was part of National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month activities.

With the incidences of obesity among the nation's children becoming an increasingly worrying issue, Boca Royale's head tennis pro, Pancho Williams, a 25-year veteran of the professional tennis scene, admitted his bias when talking about a sport he has played since he was a 6-year-old in Panama.

"There's no better way to stay active and fit than playing tennis," Williams said. "This is a grass-roots attempt to help children become healthier. With Nickelodeon's help, tennis pros around the country can achieve that goal."

Williams learned about the World Wide Day of Play at seminars hosted at IMG Academy in Bradenton.

"Attending those seminars introduced me to my fellow coaches from around the nation," Williams said. "I realized that we're all committed to producing the next generation of healthy, vital young adults."

Williams said the day of play at the Englewood club was all about having fun.

"But I also wanted to make sure the kids realized that tennis is an enjoyable game to play," he said. "Maybe they'll go to school Monday morning and talk to their friends about what a great time they had and pass the word along. We can never have enough tennis players."

Looking on as his 2-1/2-year-old daughter, Anna Grace, took tentative swings with her new pink racket, Jeff Hunek explained his reasons for attending the morning event.

"This is her first attempt at anything remotely sports- orientated," the Ohio native said. "Any program that introduces kids to sports is a positive force in the community. If my daughter sticks with tennis, that's great. If not, we will try something else. As long as they're having fun and staying active, that's all that counts."

Anna Losey, a Boca Royale resident and tennis player for more than 20 years, scurried around the courts all morning, picking up oversized, foam tennis balls. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.