EO Foundation plans youth tennis program
Youth tennis is about to be introduced to the Evan Oglesby Foundation.
Thanks to former tennis professional Ron Hakala and the USTA (United States Tennis Association), a tennis program for youths age 10-under will start in January 2016.
"We are extremely excited about offering tennis to our youth program," said Evan Oglesby, founder and operator of the Evan Oglesby Foundation in Toccoa.
"Tennis is a lifetime sport and the earlier kids learn the basics, the more fun they will have playing," he said.
Hakala is a certified 10-under coach with the USTA and before coming to Toccoa where he's currently a sales executive at the Currahee Club, Hakala operated the largest 10-under youth training facility in Florida.
"I felt the need to give back, so I came up with this idea and Evan was all for it" said Hakala. "I made a call to the USTA and they donated four portable nets, dozens of balls, and 40 racquets to launch the program."
Hakala explained the program: "What we are about to do by teaching the USTA 10-under program is totally different than what most people think. We now teach using ‘age appropriate’ sized racquets, a smaller court size, and a lower net height along with four different types of ‘transitional’ balls making learning the proper techniques so much easier for kids,” Hakala said.
“Early success equals more fun and interest. Kids should not hit a real tennis ball until the age of 11 or 12. It's all about using the correct technique and developing skills," he said.
Before coming to Toccoa, Hakala’s 8-under team won the Florida Youth Team Championships.
"Two of my kids were only 5 years old,” Hakala said. “They could serve and rally balls multiple times during a match. Kids have tremendous potential talent when taught the correct way and with the age appropriate equipment," Hakala added.
The 10-under program is a six-week program on Tuesdays starting Jan. 19.
There will be two sessions each Tuesday – from 5-5:45 p.m. for ages 5-7; and 5:45 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. for ages 8-10.
Program space is limited to 15 players - first come basis.
To register call 404-969-5334 or visit Evan's website: www.evanoglesbyfoundation.org for link
The first class is free, then $50 to continue.