Fall Tennis - Tue, Oct. 11, 2016
The Eagle Mountain - Saginaw Tennis Academy, and Elementary Tennis Programs ran by Chisholm Trail Varsity Tennis coach, Leslie Crook has won the award for "Program of the Year" with the 2016 USTA Texas Youth Excellence Award!
Award winners will receive:
- Recognition in the USTA Texas magazine, website, and social media outlets
- USTA Texas nomination for the USTA National award.
This award is presented to a facility or program that has offered the most outstanding youth tennis programs to their players in an effort to follow the youth tennis pathway with 10 and under guidelines. This could include offering opportunities such as; school programs, 10 and under programs, Hot Shots, Kids' Tennis Club, National Junior Tennis League, Junior Team Tennis, and/or Play Days.
Additionally, Coach Crook received the 2016 High School All-Star No Cut Coach of the Year! This award is presented to a high school coach who implements a 'No-Cut' policy for their tennis teams.
Coach Crook began a tennis initiative to introduce tennis to all 14 elementary schools for Eagle Mountain-Saginaw ISD in 2015. After spending two weeks at each campus, she wondered what the young athletes would do after they had this marvelous experience? This birthed the EMS Tennis Academy as a follow-up, to continue providing tennis instruction with fun-filled games promoting this great sport.
The Academy was provided to all the children in grades 2nd-6th FREE from October-December in the fall, and February-May for spring. The size of the Eagle Mountain-Saginaw community has approximately 25,000 students. Over 8,000 children were introduced to tennis last year alone! Through the FREE Academy, the program averaged 200 children a week.
On Fridays, Coach Crook provided FREE tennis for all junior high, grades 7th-8th, and high school athletes grades 9th-12th between September and May. It is with high hopes of Coach Crook that these district provided, FREE event will inspire more children to play tennis, encouraging them to play junior high and high school tennis.
Coach Crook managed and trained all high school players who helped with these programs on how to "toss" a ball so the children could find success as well as helping on the child's contact point and footwork. The Ranger Tennis team demonstrated for "show and tell" so they could get a visual of what the specific stroke was supposed to look like. "I am a firm believer in paying it forward where the high school players volunteer their time to help the children find joy and success in playing." Coach Crook said. "In turn, I offered Community Service hours to the kids who are enrolled in the National Honor Society or Gold Star program for high academic achieving students." Coach Crook went on to say, "seeing the joy on their faces, not only for the children who participated in the academy but the Ranger volunteer is priceless."
Way to go Coach Crook, you truly make us #EMSPROUD!