The men’s tennis team hosted Kids’ Day Fridayfor the youth in the community.
With rackets in hand and smiles on their faces, kids gathered at Florida A&M’s tennis courts. Players patiently coached each kid, teaching the correct way to hold a racket.
The United Tennis Association and the Intercollegiate Tennis Association partnered to promote Kids’ Day on college campuses around the country, according to Carl Goodman, head coach of men’s tennis.
“This is our first time doing it, and it’s a marvelous thing,” he said. “We’re trying to get more kids to come out, watch the game and hopefully become fans for life.”
Jessica Morris, a teacher at Stars Middle School, brought the school’s tennis club to Kids’ Day, hoping the college players could not only show the students tennis tips but inspire them to go to college.
“They’re benefiting being out here with students that go to college,” Morris said.
Morris hopes to bring the tennis club back to FAMU to take advantage of the lessons offered by the men’s tennis team.
Chidi Gabriel, a men’s tennis player, said his love for the game started when he was as young as the kids who participated in Kids’ Day. He hopes they continue to learn the game.
“Most kids don’t ever step onto a tennis court,” Gabriel said. “But when they do for the first time, it sparks something inside of them. Then they want to learn from that day forward.”
Kids’ Day was beneficial for both the players and the kids. Morris said the kids thought the event was cool, and it made them want to go to college, too.
Gabriel said the experience was gratifying.
“These kids are going to be the next ones out here,” he said. “I guess you can say we’re role models in a way.”