The Gotham Tennis Academy at Stadium Tennis Center is at the core of sports and athletics in the Bronx, and this summer, the program and facility has continued its efforts to bring tennis to the community in which it resides.
“An important part of our mission at Gotham Tennis Academy and Stadium Tennis Center is to introduce tennis to children from the Bronx,” said Joel Kassan, a principal at Gotham Stadium Tennis Center and a board member of the Bronx Children’s Museum. “This summer alone, we have offered tennis to more than 100 children from our local community through our free programs.”
Throughout the summer, different organizations from the Bronx community have been invited to come to Stadium Tennis Center and take part in free programming provided by Gotham and its teaching instructors. These organizations include Bronxworks, City Parks Foundation and several different local Bronx Schools.
For many of these kids, it is the first time that they are playing tennis or even holding a racket in their hands, and they are receiving basic instruction from some of the top teachers in the city.
“One of our goals is to break down the economic and social barriers to playing tennis,” said Kassan. “Just recently, I saw an eight-year-old pick up a tennis racket for the first time. He showed incredible promise. Gotham’s tennis professionals and the Bronxworks staff were impressed with this child’s talent. Since we offer scholarships to promising players, we are looking forward to having this child and others return and continue to learn the game. Who’s to say that a future US Open champion may not be right here in our backyard?”
Kassan and his team have made a strong and concerted effort to reach out and help the community, and give back to its neighbors. That has been evident in the free programming it has provided this summer, and it will continue to expand on this initiative moving forward.
“We would like to thank NYC Parks and our community partners for their support of our efforts to make tennis more accessible to children from the Bronx,” said Kassan.
Brian Coleman is the Senior Editor for New York Tennis Magazine. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org