Tennis courts planned for elementary school

Published 3:10 pm Tuesday, August 11, 2015

QuickStart Tennis of Central Virginia is in the early stages of planning construction of three kid-sized tennis courts at Cumberland Elementary School.

According to QCV QuickStart Coordinator Lynda Harrill, the organization is raising money for the project in Cumberland, which currently has no tennis courts.

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“Not a one,” Harrill said emphatically.

The project stems from a recent successful QuickStart PRO tennis program for summer school students in the county.

“It’s where you start kids off,” Harrill said of the future miniature courts, which are projected to cost about $63,000. The courts would be 36 feet long and 18 feet wide. A standard tennis court is 78 feet long and 36 feet wide.

Harrill said the project’s timeline depends on fundraising. She’s begun writing grants for the courts. “This is gonna be a long-term process. …” Harrill said.

“We are excited about the prospect of having tennis courts at the elementary school,” said Division Superintendent Dr. Amy Griffin. “We will continue to partner with QuickStart Tennis of Central Virginia to see this project to completion. Cumberland County Public Schools is fortunate in that we have local community support that is now expanding to other areas in central Virginia to help meet the academic, social and physical health and wellness needs of our children.”

QCV’s program included more than 60 student participants at Cumberland Elementary School playing tennis as part of their summer school curriculum, according to a press release.

Students rotated through the gym in 30-minute increments each day over the two-week session. Rich Michaels, who led the sessions, customized the activities to suit each age group and wrote a daily blog to document what was happening on court.

“QuickStart PRO is a highlight in our elementary summer program,” said Griffin. “Students not only learn and practice tennis skills but critically think, problem-solve and collaborate. We look forward to pursuing a fall after-school program and, one day, QuickStart Tennis courts at Cumberland Elementary.”

Harrill said Cumberland has been very receptive to the program since the organization first approached the county in 2011.

“Our relationship with the schools has grown, and their students have flourished. It’s especially heartening because there are currently no tennis courts in the entire county,” said Harrill.

QCV is an all-volunteer, grassroots community tennis association established in 2009 as a tax-exempt charitable organization to promote, develop and grow QuickStart Tennis in the heart of Virginia for all beginners, especially underserved youth, using the kid-sized QuickStart Tennis format.