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Friday, April 18, 2014

NEWS: Kid-sized Tennis Courts in Gloucester Twp. are FIRST in South Jersey

Have you ever seen a lower basketball rim to accommodate small children? How about a smaller soccer field with little nets? Kids need their sports to be kid-sized. So why have tennis courts continued to be adult-sized for so many years? 

Thanks to the cooperation of Gloucester Twp. Public Works and Recreation Departments, along with initiatives from the USTA Middle States, Ron and Trish Miller of Gotta Play Tennis™ and Gotta Play Tennis Kids™ have been successful in creating kid-sized tennis courts through the use of blended lines. Now at Gloucester Twp. Community Park, at the corner of Peter Cheeseman and Hickstown Roads in Sicklerville, NJ, the four existing adult tennis courts–referred to as 78 foot courts as measured in length–have been retrofit with alternate-color thinner lines that break up the courts into either 36 foot or 60 foot lengths. According to Ben Zislis, Associate Executive Director of the USTA Middle States, “these are the FIRST blended-lines courts in a public facility that we are aware of in Southern New Jersey.” 

Smaller children ages 5-8 find quicker success using slower red-felt balls and portable lower nets on a court now designed for THEM as the the dimensions are only 36 foot long by 18 foot wide. Kids aged 9-10 can use the the additional 60 foot by 21 foot courts created by the new lines along with the existing nets and a lower-bouncing orange-felt ball. Shorter racquets sized to each child, along will all other equipment, are provided in all the Gloucester Twp. Recreation tennis programs. In a promotional USTA video, Patrick McEnroe, General Manager of Player Development said, “when the game fits, skills come faster, easier, and most importantly the kids have a lot more fun.” Even first lady Michelle Obama has endorsed the changes in youth tennis as a part of her “Let’s Move” initiative to give America a healthier generation of kids.

For information on upcoming programs, contact Gloucester Twp. Recreation at 856-435-5734.

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