Legacy Youth Tennis program seeks players

Game on: State Rep. Brendan Boyle and staff from the Leg­acy Youth Ten­nis and Edu­ca­tion pro­gram last week vis­ited young ten­nis play­ers at Boyle Re­cre­ation Cen­ter. TOM WAR­ING / TIMES PHOTO

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 ••

You can reach at twaring@bsmphilly.com.

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