The Community Tennis Program has created a new pilot program, CTP+, to further advance the tennis ability of dedicated CTP players. The goal of the CTP+ program will be to develop tennis technique at a higher level. It is designed for those players who have proven their competitive ability and potential beyond the level of their peers. This new program will be FREE for players and their families, including extended hours of play (during both the outdoor and indoor seasons), smaller coach to player ratios, and be run out of Linden Park (Brooklyn) and Forest Park (Queens) for the outdoor season. The launch began the week of September 13 and will run through the end of October for the fall season.
Tryouts were conducted on August 17, 18, and 30 and over 130 CTP players came out to Co-Op City and Linden Park to try out.
Twenty to 25 players were selected to take part in the CTP+ Program at each site. Programming is held three days a week with instruction and match play included.
Curriculum and coach training was created and executed by Ahsha Rolle, Director of Tennis, with dynamic warm-ups and weekly themes including consistency, direction, depth, spin, power, and weapon development. Players will also get the opportunity to play in USTA sanctioned tournaments, get transportation to inter-mural competitions, special tennis equipment, and uniforms.
Coach Lorraine, from the Co-Op City site was recognized by the Dick’s Sporting Goods Foundation for her work in the NYJTL Community Tennis Program. Coach Lorraine, along with her late-husband Milton Alexander, started the NYJTL Co-Op City site 40 years ago because of the powerful and positive impact that the sport had on their lives. As a child, Ms. Lorraine always loved tennis, but it was not something readily available in her community. Eventually, after finding someone willing to teach her tennis, Ms. Lorraine met her husband on the courts of Co-Op City and decided to teach tennis to the children to give them an opportunity that they would not have had otherwise.
Ms. Lorraine believes that “if you engage children in something constructive, they will never get involved in anything destructive”, therefore creating a space for children to build character in her community was important to her and her husband.
Dick’s Sporting Goods Foundation (DSG Foundation), through their “Sports Matter” initiative, acknowledged Ms. Lorraine’s dedication in creating a positive and safe space for the community at Co-Op City. DSG Foundation’s “Sports Matter” initiative recognizes that “sports build character, increase confidence, motivate kids to stay in school and aim for higher education; teaching life lessons that extend well beyond the playing field”.
At last year’s Virtual Leadership Luncheon, NYJTL announced the DSG Foundation’s generous donation of $100,000 to the NYJTL Community Tennis Program to be used over a four-year span, so that coaches like Ms. Lorraine can continue to develop the character of young people though tennis.