The Legacy Youth Tennis and Education program kicked off on June 25, but there’s still time for kids to enroll at one of six sites in the Northeast.
“We’re looking for more kids,” said John Shamberger, supervisor for the sites in the Northeast.
The program, in its 44th year, runs weekdays through Aug. 8. It is open to kids age 7-17.
Beginners play from 9 a.m. to noon. Intermediate and advanced players take the court from 1 to 4 p.m.
The local sites are Wissinoming Playground, 5801 Frankford Ave.; Jardel Recreation Center, 1400 Cottman Ave. in Burholme; Fox Chase Playground, 7901 Ridgeway St.; Torresdale Playground, 9550 Frankford Ave.; Palmer Playground, 3035 Comly Road in the Far Northeast; and Boyle Recreation Center, 13024 Stevens Road in Somerton.
The program includes instruction from a trained coaching staff; fitness and conditioning training; and team and individual match play.
Tuition is $150 per child, with discounts for multiple kids in a family. Reduced-tuition scholarships are available for low-income children.
In all, there are 28 sites across the city and one in Ardmore.
Last week, the Legacy staff joined state Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-170th dist.) in a visit to novice players at Boyle Recreation Center.
Kids have been playing organized summer tennis in Philadelphia for decades, starting with the National Junior Tennis League, which changed names several times before becoming Legacy last year.
Rep. Boyle, 36, got his start in tennis at Sturgis Playground in Olney. His team topped Jardel, Fox Chase and Lawncrest for the regional championship one year.
“It was a lot of fun,” he said.
Boyle went on to play at Cardinal Dougherty High School and, while in college, taught in the program for a year at Deni Playground in Frankford.
Today, Boyle is a Legacy board member and remains a big backer of the program. He said summer tennis helps kids stay in good physical shape and keeps them out of trouble. He credits Legacy with making the tuition affordable.
“It’s a wonderful nonprofit that helps promote the sport,” he said.
Jacquie Patterson, Legacy’s vice president of organizational advancement, said the tennis program is a Philadelphia tradition, and she welcomes parents to sign up their kids for the last three weeks of the camp.
“The program is the best-kept secret, and there’s still room to grow,” she said.
Anyone interested in joining the program can stop by one of the participating sites. Or, they can call 215-487-9555 or visit www.legacyyte.org ••