Tennis a hit with Patrick Springs Pre-K

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Patrick Springs Primary School Pre-kindergarteners dig into a tub of tennis gear before playing. The new program was kicked off by QuickStart of Central Virginia (Photo by Deb Roberts)

QuickStart Tennis of Central Virginia (QCV), an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) organization, received grant funding from the Martinsville Area Community Foundation to help implement tennis in the prekindergarten classes at Meadows of Dan Elementary School and Patrick Springs Primary School.

After a teacher training session for QuickStart was held in August at Patrick County High School, Patrick Springs Primary was given a set of equipment to share with other schools. Meadows of Dan and Patrick Springs Primary are pilot sites for QuickStart’s BrightStars – Tennis for Me! program.

This week, QuickStart announced that 18 tennis enthusiasts from the Charlottesville area have met to begin forming a Southside Area Tennis Association that will serve youth and adults in Pittsylvania, Henry and Patrick counties and the cities of Danville and Martinsville.

QCV QuickStart Coordinator Lynda Harrill said, “When I was instrumental in founding QuickStart Tennis of Central Virginia eight years ago, I always intended to work my way out of a job by getting local communities to start their own Community Tennis Associations, offer programming and engage in a lot of community outreach activities.

“Having tennis boosters in Southside Virginia step up to form SATA is just wonderful. One of QCV’s main goals is to serve as a catalyst, facilitator and resource for formerly underserved communities in central and Southside Virginia,” Harrill continued. “Helping organize our first local CTA is a game-changer and will serve as a model for other communities. Kids and adults in these three counties and two cities are going to be the immediate beneficiaries.”

Danville native John Collins of Collins Wealth Management in Goldsboro, N.C., is the initial Founding Sponsor of the new SATA. Collins came to tennis at age 26. He says he was a 5-foot-6-inch tall basketball player in need of a new sport. He had good footwork, quick reflexes and good hand-eye coordination that readily transferred to tennis.

Collins joined Stratford Tennis Club at 29 and when his professional life took him to North Carolina, he took his love for tennis with him. He has ranked as high as No.1 in North Carolina and No. 2 in the Southern Section in Men’s Singles 55 and over.

QuickStart is an all-volunteer grassroots Community Tennis Association dedicated to growing QuickStart Tennis in 27 counties and cities in Virginia. The organization’s goal is to create “play pathways” in the communities it serves to get kids playing tennis in PE classes, after-school and out-of-school. QuickStart aims to help students learn through tennis valuable life skills such as integrity, dedication, determination and teamwork.

The QuickStart system of teaching, rather than using traditional instruction, focuses on a “play to learn” style of instruction designed to help kids experience success early-on.