MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan -- Program assistants from the Youth and Teen Center and School Age Care Center (SAC) participated in a coaches’ workshop hosted by the United States Tennis Association held at Matthew C. Perry High School’s gymnasium at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, April 17 - 18, 2013.
Two instructors from USTA spent the first day teaching elementary school students how to play tennis. The second day, the instructors taught station residents how to teach the fundamentals of tennis to the children.
“This was primarily a ‘train the trainer’ workshop,” said Dan Limbago, USTA National Junior Tennis and Learning manager and workshop instructor. “We train people who are going to work with kids so they have the skills to teach large groups of kids.”
The workshop consisted of many interactive activities and focused on relaying the skills necessary to teach children the basics of serving, hitting and rules.
Besides interactive teaching, they also introduced station residents to an exclusive pilot program offered by the Youth and Teen Center.
“In 2013, the USTA will host 20 tennis pilot programs at Boys’ and Girls’ Club-affiliated youth centers on military bases in the U.S. and abroad,” said China Fanning, USTA Education and Outreach national manager.
According to Eugene Clark, Youth and Teen Activities director, this is the first time MCAS Iwakuni hosted a pilot program and was one of two bases selected in Japan to participate.
Fanning said all 20 installations are competing in an incentive program for an all-expenses paid trip to New York for three to participate in their “Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day.”
If MCAS Iwakuni wins the incentive program, one child from School Age Care, one of their parents and a staff member from SAC go to the U.S. Open at Arthur Ashe stadium in addition to attending Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day.
The Youth and Teen Center plans to do two pilot programs, with the first from May 1 to June 15.
“Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, the tennis courts at School Age Care Center will train the kids for 30 minutes to an hour,” said Clark. “The last week, we will do a major play activity where we will set up the nets and just let the kids have fun.”
With the Youth and Teen Center providing the equipment to get started and 124 elementary school children having already participated in the practice workshop, MCAS Iwakuni has a head start on the path to a successful pilot program.