For kids ages 4-10 that want to learn the fundamentals in the game of tennis or just want to find a way to get active over the summer, Rally Cats Tennis Camp has you covered. The group is hosting a youth tennis camp at the Community Center Tennis Courts in Pigeon Forge on July 5-7.
The Rally Cats program was developed by the United States Tennis Association (UTSA) of Tennessee in order to better introduce the game to a younger audience. Some of the ways that they do this is by using equipment better suited for ages 4-10, such as using smaller rackets and tennis balls that move slower and have a reduced bounce to make learning the game easier.
“USTA nationally has a whole process for introducing new players to the game which is age and ability appropriate,” said Rally Cats Junior Tennis Coordinator Marrisa Kovach.
“Tennis is the only sport where brand new players, ages 5 and 6, for years were using the same equipment as adults,” said Kovach.
The idea from the Rally Cats of using age appropriate equipment, “just makes the entry to the sport a lot easier for them and a lot more fun because they’re going to find success a lot sooner,” Kovach said.
While the camp has been running programs in several different cities across Tennessee, this is the first year where a camp will be run in Pigeon Forge.
“This summer is our first program there, so we’re really excited to work with the Parks and Rec department,” Kovach said, “we’ve never had one in Pigeon Forge before, and we kind of really rely on local coaches and local entities to run these camps, so it was really exciting to meet the Pigeon Forge Parks and Rec department.”
The tennis camp will be a part of the summer program run by the Pigeon Forge Parks and Recreation department, and is something that will hopefully stick around as a part of the camp for years to come.
“We certainly hope so. I think it’d be an awesome addition,” said Kovach.
The program is designed to slow the game down, make learning easier and hopefully keep kids invested in the sport for years even after completing the program.
“We hear a lot of things, the Rally Cats program itself is kind of nice because it’s low pressure, it turns into a social program for them, they can hang out with their friends while learning a new sport, and a lot of parents like it l because the skills they earn can translate to other sports as well,” Kovach said.
The camp will be held on July 5-7 at the courts at 170 Community Center Dr, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863. Questions about registration can be sent to Marissa at firstname.lastname@example.org.