After a successful 2013-14 programming year, and with its dual purposes of training the next generation of great American players and providing free tennis instruction to under-resourced children in New York City, the John McEnroe Tennis Academy (JMTA) announced that it will continue and expand its free school programs that focus on serving children in the neighborhoods closest to its flagship location on Randall’s Island. This 2014-2015 programming season started on October 20 and will continue throughout the remainder of the 2014-15 school year.
JMTA Master professional Jamie Moore, who doubles as Community Outreach Director for Johnny Mac Tennis Project (JMTP), oversees a program in which Sportime Randall’s Island and the JMTA, supported by the JMTP, provide thousands of hours of free tennis instruction each year to local children.
Through the program, Sportime Randall’s Island welcomes public and charter school children from Harlem and The Bronx for on-site tennis at the SPORTIME Randall’s Island facility. In addition, JMTA sends its pros to other schools in Harlem. Many of these schools are serviced in a continuing partnership with the Wellness in the Schools not-for-profit foundation, bringing the sport of tennis, along with a commitment to health and fitness, to the kids during their lunch and recess hours.
Between its on and off-site efforts, JMTA and JMTP are reaching kids from local schools including P.S 7, P.S. 37, P.S. 72, P.S. 88, P.S. 112, P.S. 146, M.S. 224, Central Park II 964, Bronx Studio for Writers and Artists, Our Lady Queen of Angels School, International Community High School, Fanny Lou Hamer Freedom High School, Union Settlement, ALCS Group Home and the Hyde Leadership Academy.
Approximately 400 children per week attend the on-site sessions, while hundreds of others benefit from the off-site programs. JMTA is also offering a session on Monday afternoons to a seniors group from the Union Settlement Association in East Harlem as an extension of the program.
“This was so successful last year and we are pleased to be able to continue to address both legs of the mission of JMTP,” said Mark McEnroe, President of JMTP. “Feedback from kids, parents and administrators at the schools has been tremendous, and I know that our pros have enjoyed the experience of working with these groups very much.”
The twin purposes of JMTP are:
• To make tennis accessible to hundreds and even thousands of under-resourced kids from the NYC communities surrounding Randall’s Island each year, and to do so in a manner that allows those kids to excel at the game of tennis and to progress as far as their talent and interest takes them.
• To help train a smaller group of NYC kids to be serious players, with many receiving college scholarships, with the hope that someday soon many of those young athletes will be coming out of these community programs and outreach efforts.
JMTP provides scholarships, coaching, transportation and other financial assistance to qualified young tennis players in the greater New York area, as well as introducing the sport to hundreds of new junior players each year in the neighborhoods surrounding Academy locations. JMTP and Sportime Clubs, home of the John McEnroe Tennis Academy, have already provided more than $1.5 million in scholarships and no-cost programming to young players in New York City and its communities. Sportime Randall’s Island has been the flagship location of JMTA since 2010.