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HomeNewsArchivesThe Tennis Shoe's on the Other Foot: PE Teachers Become Students

The Tennis Shoe's on the Other Foot: PE Teachers Become Students

Dec. 10, 2008 — Physical-education teachers found out Wednesday how it feels to be on the other side of the net.
And judging from the laughter and shouts, the teachers did not mind being students for a couple of days at tennis workshops sponsored by first lady Cecile deJongh and the Tennis in the Parks Committee.
Twenty-six teachers and 14 Housing, Parks and Recreation employees gathered in the D.C. Canegata Recreational Center to do sidewise running drills, passing and batting balls back and forth and generally having a good time.
They did so under the direction of Anthony Stedman, a certified coaching instruction with the U.S. Tennis Association (USTA). Stedman would throw in a competitive game occasionally to keep his students interested; just as the gym teachers would to keep their students interested. Teachers who won the little contests were all smiles.
St. Clair Williams, who sits on the tennis committee and serves as commissioner of Housing and Parks, watched the program from the sidelines. The committee's ultimate goal is to get more youngsters involved with the game, he said.
"We have been renovating our facilities and now we want to see them utilized," Williams said.
Housing and Parks has five tennis facilities on St. Croix, two on St. Thomas and two on St. John. Workshop participation on St. Croix was about 30 percent higher than it was when the workshops were held Monday and Tuesday on St. Thomas.
The first day of the workshops concentrates on drills. On Thursday the St. Croix participants will focus on the intricacies of the game, such as keeping score, positioning, rallying and serving. It is called a QuickStart Tennis Training Workshop. Wednesday's workshop was called a Recreational Coach Workshop.
The tennis committee was fortunate in being able to partner with the USTA on the program, Williams said. USTA not only supplied an instructor, but it also donated all the books for the Quick Start Tennis program on Thursday and the packet of handouts describing the drills demonstrated Wednesday. The University of the Virgin Islands lent the program 14 tennis rackets so the participants who did not have rackets could take part.
Though the focus of this program was on the schools, the tennis committee will soon broaden its efforts, according to Rebecca Smock, special assistant to the governor. The Tennis Committee hopes to have a tennis summer tennis program and an after-school program next year.
Lucille Hobson of the Department of Education was one of the organizers this week for the St. Croix program. The program was held on St. Thomas at the Sub Base Tennis Courts.
"Our goal is to see a diversity of sports being taught to our children," St. Clair said.
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