DURHAM, N.C. – The Duke men’s and women’s tennis teams got together this past weekend to put on two events at the Sheffield Indoor Tennis Center, hosting Kid’s Day on Saturday and a Pro-Am for the Duke Faculty Club on Sunday.
“The purpose of the weekend was to get our student-athletes out in the community to promote not just Duke Tennis, but tennis overall,” said women’s head coach Jamie Ashworth. “Hopefully people can understand and learn that we have a great product here at Duke on both the women and men’s sides. It is always nice to give back to the community on the tennis side and hopefully along with that generate interest in both programs.”
The two Duke squads welcomed around 90 kids to campus on Saturday morning. The event was free to kids of all ages. There were eight stations of activities for the kids, including a quick start station, which is a new mini tennis court designed for younger kids. The Blue Devils split two courts into eight miniature courts and used smaller rackets and soft tennis balls for easier play.
The other seven stations included a serve for speed court equipped with a radar gun, an Around the World elimination game, playing against the pros (mixed doubles from Duke Tennis teams), a feeding court, face painting and stenciling and a conditioning area. The kids had a chance to interact with each member of the Duke Tennis teams at different stations.
On Sunday afternoon, Duke welcomed members of the faculty club for a Pro-Am. Around 30 members of the club participated. There were five courts that featured a member of both the men’s and women’s team playing against two faculty club members. After eight games the participants rotated courts and on the sixth court men’s head coach Ramsey Smith played King of the Court with the members.
“The events this weekend were a great success and a lot of fun for everyone involved,” said Smith. “Our student athletes took five hours out of their weekend to connect with the local tennis community, and I was extremely happy with the energy and enthusiasm they brought to the events. I look forward to making Kids Day and the Duke Faculty Club Pro-Am annual events and to build on the momentum that we gained this weekend.”
Participants at both the Kids Day and Pro-Am received t-shirts and water bottles from the two teams.
“We had a great turn out on both days with the juniors coming on Saturday and the adults coming on Sunday,” said Ashworth. “Both groups had a great time. It is one of our goals this spring to keep getting out into the community and build up interest in the game of tennis, not just to get them out to watch, but also to play the sport.”