Taking tennis to the streets in downtown Wilmington

Listen 3:52

Downtown Wilmington’s Market Street was transformed into center court for the 19th annual Tennis in the Streets.

On Friday, hundreds of young people took part in an event designed to promote the sport with a free tennis clinic.Tennis in the Streets is part of the United States Professional Tennis Association’s Tennis Across America campaign, which is now in its 25th year of focusing on multicultural free clinics for children and adults who have never experienced tennis.

“This event exposes youth to the exciting world of tennis,” said Shawn Allen, acting director of Wilmington’s Parks and Recreation Department. “This year, we are hoping to capitalize on the interest of tennis and start a city youth tennis league.”

Students learned how to hold the racket correctly and had an opportunity to take some swings, but it came more naturally to some. Even pedestrians who were just walking past Rodney Square got in on the action, helping to corral wayward tennis balls as they bounced along the Market St. sidewalks.

Jackie Roe, president of the Delaware district of the USPTA, said she hopes to use this event to encourage kids to enjoy tennis for life.

“By sharing our passion, we hope to change a child’s life,” she said.

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