The Greater Madison Tennis Association is a volunteer based organization that has existed for over 30 years as a community resource for providing tennis programming and events. Their Rising Stars program has been a long running youth program created to serve the diverse population of Madison. In 2017, the focus for Rising Stars became Hispanic Outreach to youth ages 10 and Under. Approximately 6.8% of Madison population is Hispanic or Latino, 17,354 residents.
A partnership with Nuestro Mundo, a charter elementary school on Madison’s east side, was established in 2017. A GMTA board member who is a tennis professional and is a teacher at that school. The program was well received the first year with a significant number of families returning for the 2018 program. This past summer, 23 players and 7 coaches participated in a five week program. Players were divided into two age groups; 8 and Under using mini nets and red balls and ages 8 – 10 using orange and green balls. There was ten minutes of warm-up followed by group instruction. There was a featured skill of the week as well as many different games. Each player received a t-shirt, racquet and ball.
Parents were very positive. They hung out and watched. Some parents were hitting on adjacent courts. Net Generation information was provided to the parents and the kids received a water bottle from Wisconsin’s TSR, Erika Wentz-Russell.