DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Daytona Beach-area children can play tennis for free, thanks to Derbyshire Community Tennis Inc.
The program is led by Mary McCoy, a Mainland High School teacher giving her time to provide these children a chance to play.
“We’re trying to have a grassroots program where (children) do not have the opportunity to play tennis or get out here to play tennis and provide them with racquets, balls, and anything else that we need to get them started, just to get them motivated,” said McCoy, the president of Derbyshire Community Tennis Inc.
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Children ages 5-18 can join weekly programs for free or sign up to play in tournaments.
“We want to show kids a different avenue and just hopefully, they’ll take what we instilled in them and just carry it,” said Lynn Ford, the treasurer of Derbyshire Community Tennis Inc.
Volunteers help run the programs, including the Stetson University women’s tennis team.
“It’s really, really fun,” freshman tennis player Cheri Darley said, “Especially being far away from home as well...in Florida. It’s like a dream come true. We were so happy about helping many little children because I remember when we were younger, we loved having it.”
At the end of the day, it’s all about giving back to the children.
“This is very special,” Ford said, “It’s awesome because the community also gets the exposure.”
“I just love being around any of these children that want to learn the game of tennis,” McCoy said, “Even if it doesn’t take them to another level because this is a lifelong sport.”
For more information on the programs or to sign up as a volunteer, send an email to email@example.com. The next free clinics are scheduled for May 2022.