Local youth tennis program hosts benefit golf tournament

Published 11:10 pm Saturday, September 9, 2017

Miss-Lou Youth Tennis director Frankie Spence has spread his knowledge through more than 30 years of teaching and instruction in the area, and now he is able to keep that practice going in style.

Since beginning the youth program based in Vidalia about a year and a half ago, the organization hosted a benefit golf tournament Saturday morning at Duncan Park.

Entry fees as well as a few sponsorships, Spence said, will be used toward new equipment for the young players.

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“It’s been a great benefit,” Spence said. “There were many other people who spoke to me who wanted to help. This was good for the first time on the books.”

Spence said he had about 25 youth tennis participants during his summer program, and now has eight high school athletes and about 12 youngsters — ages 6 to 8 — for the fall.

Nine teams of two golfers competed during Saturday’s tournament.

“All the golfers thought it was a real cool thing to do for the kids,” Spence said. “I also have some kids that are from broken homes or one parent families. Instead of losing these kids, we will be able to take some of this funding to move them along.”

Michael Blain — who has three adult children who all played youth tennis — said he was happy to help by signing up.

“It’s good for kids to play any sport and get them off the street,” Blain said. “For my kids, it gave them purpose for doing things and a spirit of playing on a team. I just wanted to help.”

Spence said with new equipment — such as exercise materials and a ball machine — he can develop the youth tennis program and players even further.

“I have to explain that it is all a process of growing, but they have all been receptive,” he said. “They were more excited than I thought they would be.”

Spence said the fall program will run through the November and pick back up after the winter holidays.

For more information about the program, contact Spence at 601-334-5639.