Maryland Junior Tennis Training Center Pushes Community Outreach Programs During Citi Open
COLLEGE PARK, Maryland – A tennis training center tucked away just inside the ring road makes its presence known.
Several tennis pros currently playing at the Citi Open trained at the Junior Tennis Champion Center in College Park.
Earlier this week, many youngsters didn’t even let the scorching sun stop them from engaging in the love of the game.
Even if you’re not a tennis fan, you can still enjoy and admire what goes into the making of a champion at JTCC.
Dozens of young players have gone on to become junior and collegiate champions, with some going on to become highly ranked pros.
That includes Frances Tiafoe of Hyattsville, who played at this week’s Citi Open.
“I think it’s super cool that we can see him here often and play with him, it makes us feel like we have a chance to be up there one day,” said Stiles Brockett, a young 16 years old. tennis player at JTCC.
“It lets me know that just about anyone can do it, he’s worked, he’s worked, he’s gotten to where he is so I can work, I can work and the goal is to get there. happen too,” said Cyrus Mahjoob, also a 16-year-old tennis player at JTCC.
While the tennis training center strives to invest in young people everywhere, it has also been known to run a number of community outreach programs, especially with families who otherwise could not afford such training.
“The bread and butter of our program is to prepare children for college scholarships,” explained Ray Benton, CEO of JTCC.
“Our big category would be community involvement.”
This involvement includes initiatives such as neighborhood youth outreach, Special Olympics, wheelchair tennis, tennis festivals and the tennis corps
“My family actually got a scholarship just to help cover the cost of the JTCC program,” said Dawn Smith, a parent with JTCC of Upper Marlboro.
“Not only that, just being able to continue with them and have the opportunity to eventually get a college scholarship.”
Thanks to this opportunity, it seems that Smith’s children, Aniya and Kaleb, have already somehow figured out their future.
“Being a young black woman, it really taught me something,” said 10-year-old Aniya Smith.
“It taught me that not only am I black, but I’m also young, beautiful and smart and I think I can get better at this sport just by watching or playing.”
“Every guy who plays tennis who is the best in this country, I want to be in front of them,” said 6-year-old tennis player Kaleb Smith.
For more information on JTCC and the center’s community outreach programs Click here.