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LATA & BBC created a budget based on 30 participants.  LATA applied for grants to offset expenses as well as a minimum $10 registration fee.  Players would receive 10 weeks of professional instruction for 1 and a ½ hours a week, a tennis racquet, a t-shirt & transportation from the church to the Lexington County Tennis Complex.  Scholarship $ was available for those needing help with registration fees or for purchasing tennis shoes.

OVERWHELMINGLY, 179 registrations were received.  The program had to be re-formatted to accommodate the players.  The 10 week program was divided into two 5 week programs.  The first 5 week program was for 10 – 17 year olds.  This program was further divided into a 1:00 session for the 10 & 11 year olds and a 2:30 session for the 12-17 year olds.  The second 5 week session was for 6-9 years olds.  This session was divided into a 1:00 session for ages 6 & 7 and a 2:30 session for ages 8 & 9.  All to accommodate 179 participants.

In addition to re-formatting the program time-frame, funds were needed to purchase the additional 149 racquets and t-shirts. 

In the midst of trying to figure out how to find the funds that were needed, LATA received a phone call from a good friend of Billy Jean King who is affiliated with World Team Tennis (WTT).  This friend had cut out LATA’s Kids team tennis ad from the local newspaper.  She contacted the LATA office and offered a box of tennis racquets that Billy Jean had asked her to find an ‘outreach program’ that could use them.  This call was like a godsend.  Just when LATA needed to find funding for racquets, Billy Jean King and WTT are there to help.  29 racquets were donated.  When Billy Jean’s friend was told of our situation, she gave us contact info for WTT.  LATA contacted Delaine Mast at WTT who unbelieveably sent LATA another 40 racquets as well as a box of 250 tennis balls. 

LATA was still in need of additional racquets and t-shirts.  The Southern Section also donated a box of 40 tennis racquets and the South Carolina office outfitted all 179 players with USA Team Tennis t-shirts!    LATA  had to order 49 racquets.  Brookland Baptist donated $500 towards this purchase.

Jorge Andrew, Director of Lexington County Tennis Complex was hired to provide the structure for the program.  Jorge’s five tennis pros led the instruction on 5 courts, each with 8 – 9 players.

The first session began on April 9 at 1:00.  It was a beautiful day.  The BBC bus pulled up in front of Lexington County Tennis Complex and dropped off a majority of the players.  Others had their own transportation. 

The players were checked-in, given their t-shirt, received a name tag and sent to the courts to be fitted for a tennis racquet.  Once they received their racquets they were divided into groups to begin their tennis instruction

After the 5 week program, all participants are invited to continue to practice the skills they have learned during a ‘team tennis’ program designed just for these beginners.  This program will immediately follow each of the 5 week programs.