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Fort Worth camp introduces sport to children who ‘have never picked up a tennis racket’

Fort Worth resident David Nava, 14, had never played tennis before he joined the McLeland Tennis Center’s Junior Summer Camp.

He wants to join his high school tennis team this year, whether he ends up at Paschal High School or South Hills High School.

“I just wanted to get better,” Nava said. “I’m deciding between schools.”

Nava was one of about 20 children from ages 4 through 18 who wanted to be introduced or refine their skills on the court on June 20 at the McLeland Tennis Center, 1600 W. Seminary Drive.

The summer camp runs through Aug. 12. Families can sign their children up per day or week. Tennis-only lessons begin at 9 a.m. and end at 11 a.m. However, half day lessons end at 1 p.m. and act as more of a daycare service, said Donovan Rivera, a manager at the center.

On one court, Dallas Baptist University head tennis coach Wade Morgan taught Nava and other teens about strokes and direction.

On the next court over, Juan Blanco, the latest addition to the center’s coaching staff, lectured a group of children.

On the last court, Rivera taught about strokes, too.

“These are the kids who are interested in playing high school tennis or J.V. tennis,” Jason Warren, the tennis director at McLeland Tennis Center, said. “Last summer camp just wasn’t organized. It wasn’t. But this year, you can tell the difference.”

Warren took the position of director in 2021 after directing in Dallas at a facility under the same umbrella, Impact Activities.

“Twenty kids may not seem like a lot for some facilities, like in Dallas, but it is for us,” Warren said.

The summer camp’s larger aim is to make tennis a well-known sport in Fort Worth.

If you go:

McLeland Tennis Center Junior Summer Camp
1600 W. Seminary Dr.
9 a.m. – 11 a.m., Monday – Friday
June 6 – August 12
For more information, call (817) 921-5134.

“The most important thing is making sure they like tennis, because at the end of the day it is not a tennis city, so we want to give them the option,” Rivera said.

Cristian ArguetaSoto is the community engagement journalist at the Fort Worth Report. Contact him by email or via Twitter. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.

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