Intro course gets youth swinging

NORTHWEST GLENDALE — Nicholas Cho had the evidence in hand while leaving a sun-splashed court at Fremont Tennis Center on Thursday morning.

Cho, 8, spent the past six weeks taking part in a tennis camp put on by the LA84 Foundation, in conjunction with the Southern California Tennis Assn. and the National Junior Tennis League. Cho went into the camp with an open mind, with the goal to become better in some of the sport's basic skills.

"I wanted to become better all around at tennis and I think I'm better now," Cho, a Glendale resident, said after receiving his certificate of completion, cradling his multi-colored racquet. "It's a fun sport and it helps you get stronger and have even more energy to do things.

"I have lot of energy. That helped. I got much better with my forehand shot."

The camp, which featured about 50 participants between 6-16, provided valuable opportunities to learn basic skills for just $10. It began July 6 and concluded Thursday with a closing ceremony. Each camper received a racquet.

Cho wasn't the only participant who had plenty of energy to go through all of the numerous drills conducted by Ron Zambrano, who is the tennis professional at Fremont Tennis Center. Tracy Sadek, along with her younger brother, Michael, and sister, Vanessa, hit their share of backhand and forehand shots around the court.

The elder Sadek took part in the camp last year, which was held at Glendale High. Sadek, 12, said she also wanted to improve in some of the game's finer points.

"You can get more experience, exercise and make new friends," said Sadek, a seventh-grade student at Roosevelt Middle School. "I wanted to learn how to serve better and how to get to the ball quicker so I can return it.

"I recommended the camp to two of my friends and they both came."

Zambrano, who also coaches the St. Francis High team and used to coach at Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy, said there's plenty to learn with a lot of time to comprehend the finer points of the game.

"It's just a good introduction to tennis and they have learned quite a bit," Zambrano said. "They can work on their hitting and serving drills and have the chance to compete against each other.

"The best thing is that they know how to become better team players."

Reggie Perry helped coordinate Glendale to be among more than 50 sites across Southern California to host the program. After several years of trying to develop a local tie, Perry succeeded with it coming to the area for the first time in 2009.

"There's a lot of team work involved and I hope that they will choose tennis as their sport," said Perry, a Glendale native. "It's good exercise for them and there's a lot of eye-hand coordination involved.

"It's a chance for the kids to learn about tennis."

Similar camps are being held from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara to Twentynine Palms.

A closing ceremony was scheduled to be held at each location.

Copyright © 2019, Glendale News-Press
EDITION: California | U.S. & World