After School Program Sparks Love for Tennis

USTA Mid-Atlantic Section partnered  with Belvedere Elementary School in Fairfax County, Va., to introduce tennis as a brand new after school program during the 2018-2019 school year. The program was met with incredible enthusiasm and both the fall and spring sessions were completely full. Many children picked up a tennis racquet and began learning the sport for the first time. 

While tennis brought the student population together and helped create camaraderie through learning a new sport together, one student in particular had an experience that’s proving to be even more meaningful than expected.

Maryn P., joined the USTA Mid-Atlantic Section’s after school tennis program at Belvedere Elementary last school year and according to her mom Jaana, it has opened up a whole new love of sport – especially tennis – for the young girl. 

“I am so glad that tennis is offered as an after school activity at Belvedere Elementary here in Fairfax, Va! My husband and I very much enjoy playing tennis and really wanted our daughter Maryn to learn the sport too but didn’t know how to get her started,” explained Jaana. 

“We were very thankful for tennis to be offered after school so she can learn the basics and that she could do it with other kids from school.  We thought it would be a great start, and more fun than just us [teaching her],” she added. 

As a non-profit organization, USTA Mid-Atlantic aims to make tennis the most accessible sport in the region and one way we do that is by providing high-quality after school tennis programs with the support of donations. We want all people, especially children to experience the benefits of tennis, a lifelong sport, so they can develop skills and healthy habits that will pay dividends for years to come.  

For Jaana, the USTA Mid-Atlantic after school tennis program has sparked an excitement in Maryn for the sport that has been enjoyable to see blossom, and doors to new opportunities are opening.  

“I think the after school tennis program has really sparked an interest with Maryn.  She was interested in watching Wimbledon this year, and we even went to the kids day at the Citi Open tournament, which we wouldn’t have known about if it wasn’t for the USTA Mid-Atlantic after school tennis program. Maryn really enjoyed participating in a tennis summer camp program as well. She is looking forward to playing tennis again as school starts. I’m so glad to have had the program offered so she can at least start learning the basics, and who knows where it will go from there,” Jaana said.

As for Maryn, learning a new sport has been pure fun. 

“I love learning and getting to the next level.  I was very excited to get to the red level to get a new racquet! I told my friend on the bus and now she is going to play this fall too because she also wants a racquet. I really enjoy hitting the ball back and forth- it’s fun,” she says.

USTA Mid-Atlantic is looking forward to kicking off the 2019-2020 school year of after school tennis at Belvedere Elementary and many other schools across the Mid-Atlantic region. We aim to introduce more children to tennis and spark their love of a new sport they may not have ever known. But we need to help to ensure we can succeed.

Your tax-deductible gift of $100.74 covers the cost to provide equipment, a high-quality curriculum, and instruction for one child in the program. USTA Mid-Atlantic provides all of this so participants just need to come ready to play and have fun.

As the school year is just getting underway, your gift can make an immediate difference. Importantly, you can double your gift when you give thanks to an anonymous donor matching all donations up to $10,000 in 2019.

You can help change lives through the power of the USTA Mid-Atlantic after school tennis program. Give today


USTA Mid-Atlantic Section, Inc. is an exempt organization as described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code; EIN 54-1472806. All donations made to USTA Mid-Atlantic Section Inc. are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. 

After School Tennis in Title 1 Schools

Belvedere Elementary School in Fairfax, Va., is a Title 1 school with 660 students in grades K-5 and more than 60 percent of the student body on the free and reduced meal program. Belvedere supports a diverse population representing 29 countries of origin and speaking 31 different languages in the home.

USTA Mid-Atlantic Section was excited to partner with the school and their parent volunteers to bring our after school tennis program to students. As we delivered the new program, our coaches were able to see firsthand the power of tennis in this school.

In its first year, the after school tennis program was so successful with both the fall and spring sessions completely full! The students loved it! Not only that, tennis after school brought the diverse student population together and helped create camaraderie among the students while engaging in a new sport.

We are able to offer the after school tennis program at reduced rates for students and their families because USTA Mid-Atlantic is committed to subsidizing the program so that more children can participate. But we need help to ensure that we can keep doing this.

Your tax-deductible gift of $100.74 covers the cost to provide equipment, a high-quality curriculum, and instruction for one child in the program. USTA Mid-Atlantic provides all of this so participants just need to come ready to play and have fun.

The PTA parent coordinators at Belvedere shared the following feedback about the program:

“We were so thrilled to add USTA Mid-Atlantic tennis to our after school classes this past school year because we really liked the curriculum. We felt like all the children – no matter their background – would be equals through tennis. And that’s just what we saw; playing tennis became the common ground and brought students closer together. They learned sportsmanship and life skills through the USTA Mid-Atlantic after school tennis program, all while being active and having fun.”

Belvedere is one of 45 Title 1 elementary schools in Fairfax County. Of those 45 Title 1 schools in Fairfax County, there are only three schools with the USTA Mid-Atlantic after school tennis program. We want to change these numbers for the 2019-2020 school year and need your support to do so.

Increased funding will allow us to provide more after school tennis programs so that other schools like Belvedere can offer their students the opportunity to benefit from the positive impact of tennis both in Fairfax County and across the Mid-Atlantic region.

We cannot do it alone and now, as the school year is just getting underway, your gift can make an immediate difference. Importantly, you can double your gift when you give thanks to an anonymous donor matching all donations up to $10,000 in 2019.

Tennis brings the power of opportunity; The ability to learn a lifelong sport; The benefit of physical and mental learning; The chance to have FUN.  Thank you for your support.


USTA Mid-Atlantic Section, Inc. is an exempt organization as described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code; EIN 54-1472806. All donations made to USTA Mid-Atlantic Section Inc. are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.