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June 3, 2009 > Tennis clinic scores love

Tennis clinic scores love

Photos By William Mancebo

It began last year and grows each year. It is an idea that has taken root on the tennis courts of Irvington High School nurtured by Viking coaches Mary Ann Bryant and her son, Erik, a graduate of Irvington and those courts. "I was the idea and my mom was the organization behind it," says Erik. Sponsored by Erik's employer, Foxit, a software company headquartered in Fremont, Opportunity Day Students grades 1-6 are invited to learn the game and polish their tennis skills with the assistance of Viking Tennis Team members. This clinic has become even more of a family affair as Mary Ann's daughter Jeannette comes out to support the clinic helping to register participants and add her encouragement.

"I wanted to give everyone an opportunity to learn a sport and to come out here and have fun," says Erik. Knowing that often Special Day Students can be left behind when attempting to learn and become proficient at sports, he envisioned a day when they could learn at their own pace. "It would be good for the tennis students to learn how to teach their skills, have patience with others and have fun," he added.

The idea has blossomed from a year ago. "Last year we had a limited number of kids, six or seven, but every one of them was smiling." Volunteers from the Irvington High School Boys and Girls Tennis team volunteer their time to help out. This year, on Saturday, May 30, all team members able to schedule the time were busy helping about twice that number of Special Day Students. The number of children involved with the one day clinic has about doubled from last year says Mary Ann.

At this time participation is limited to Special Day Students at Fremont Unified School District schools. However, Erik says that as interest and numbers expand, he may increase the frequency of clinics and locations to accommodate others. He notes, "This is fun for everyone including the tennis team players."

The best method to contact Mary Ann and Erik is through Irvington High School Athletic Director Jeff Fern at (510) 687-6386 or by email: jfern@fremont.k12.ca.us.

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