What do kids do the first week after school is out? In Green, they go to the Green Bulldog Youth Tennis Camp. This yearly event was held this year for the first time at the new Green Tennis Courts by Bulldog Stadium and was a tremendous success, according to Sue Ciccolini, Green High tennis coach and program organizer.
"We really had a great turnout," said Ciccolini. "Last year, we had around 50 kids show up, but this year we had 100. That was a very good turnout. I think that we have these beautiful new courts was part of the reason. Plus we had a lot of support from our high school tennis players and other adult volunteers."
The week-long program ran from 9 a.m. until noon and was broken down into two sessions. From 9 to 10:30 a.m., children ages 5 to 9 participated. Then, from 10:30 a.m. until noon, those aged 9 to 14 arrived for their turn. The groups were fairly evenly divided with 55 in one and 45 in the other. This was the 14th year for the camp and the proceeds are one of the groups main fundraisers for the high school program.
According to Ciccolini, the practices and equipment were geared to the age levels.
"For the younger kids, we had lower nets and different balls," she said. "The whole idea was to try and build the tennis program in Green. We had a tennis pro there to instruct the kids, along with a number of adult volunteers. In addition, we were able to place at least two high school kids on each court to help out."
Two of the high school helpers were twin sisters Anne and Maria Zivick, who were also on this year's state-ranked tennis team.
"I really love being part of the camp," said Anne, "and helping these little kids learn to learn a sport they can play for a lifetime. Hopefully, in a few years we will see some of them on the high school team. The neat thing is that as you teach them you can actually see a difference at the end of the week from the beginning when they first start."
"This is so much fun," said her sister, Maria. "I enjoy helping out the little kids. I just love it. I really get a lot of pleasure out of helping teach these kids all about the sport I love to play."