| By Nina Sporn

Unless you are a diehard tennis player who has built-in radar that locates tennis courts in unexpected places, you would never know that there are five beautiful Har-Tru courts located on East 18th Street in Brooklyn, N.Y., just steps away from the Church Avenue Q train stop. The Knickerbocker Field Club, also known as "The Knick,” was built in 1892, and is the outdoor tennis home to 150 members.

Tennis enthusiasts have a unique desire to share their love of the game, especially children, and to this end, the Knickerbocker Field Club sponsors a free instructional program for local kids to introduce them to the sport. Twice a week, for two-and-a-half hours, the Club's two teaching pros and a team of volunteers recruited from the Club's membership, work up to 50 kids, ranging in age from five to 16, on fitness and tennis technique. The enthusiasm for the program can be seen in the radiant faces of the players and the coaches, and by the number of children who return to the program year after year.

Recognizing that tennis skills can only be sustained and enhanced through ongoing instruction, the Knickerbocker Field Club held a fundraising event in 2010 which raised enough to support four scholarships to Prospect Park Tennis Center's Junior Development program. These students are now back at The Knick and continue to improve, and the Club's members are committed to this program as a way of creating a new crop of tennis players for the future.