Spanish Springs coach Lynn Rapp has helped to set up a program run through the summer to teach kids from kindergarten to 12th grade about the sport.
“It’s been in existence for five years,” Rapp said. “It was started to provide a way for kids in the Spanish Springs and Sparks area to learn basic parts of tennis. Hopefully they enjoy it. We have a lot of kids repeating which is exciting.”
The program is run in several sessions throughout the summer. Each session is two weeks long for an hour Monday through Thursday. Participants get eight hours worth of training and the fee is $85.
This current session has nearly 30 kids from all age groups. Some of the older students, who also play tennis for the Spanish Springs High School squad help out with the younger kids.
“I think it’s awesome,” Rapp said. “It’s fun to watch what our kids have learned. They’re really excited to get the chance to work with kids.”
Rapp said she helps to coach the program when she is needed, but added she likes to stay behind the scenes so there is no conflict of interest when the high school season starts in the fall.
The program has a head coach — Matt Payne — assistant coaches, a few subs and students who help when needed.
Rapp said the kids who participate really enjoy the program and seem to benefit from it.
“I think they get a lot of confidence with the game,” she said. “They have a blast. They’re out there smiling. They’re running to pick up balls.”
SSHS has the only tennis courts in roughly a five-mile radius Rapp said, so the kids can play tennis and meet others from the area.
“It’s such a great game, and it’s a life-long game,” she said.
Rapp said it doesn’t matter to her if the kids go on to play with her in high school but it’s a good sport to learn.
“Parents want to pick it up and go play with their kids. It’s reasonable,” she said. “It’s cheap once you purchase you racket.”
The program doesn’t keep any of the money it makes. Most of it is used for supplies for the summer and high school seasons.
“We don’t really try to make any money,” Rapp said. “We try to purchase equipment, and we always donate back.”