DORCHESTER, Mass. – The Regis (Mass.) men's and women's tennis teams made the first of six visits last Friday to the Sportsmen's Tennis & Enrichment Center to assist in tennis instruction for youths and young adults as part of Volley Against Violence (VAV).
Launched over six years ago, Volley Against Violence (VAV) at Sportsmen's Tennis & Enrichment Center is a partnership program with the Boston Police Department (BPD) and the Boston Police Community Tennis Association (BPCTA) that works to engage inner city youths in tennis, by breaking down barriers and bringing a diverse group of youth from different Boston neighborhoods together. The primary focus of VAV is to provide intentional mentoring, life skills training and educational experiences for youths.
The Pride tennis teams will return to the center on five more occasions from November to February where more than 100 youth ages 4-18 come together with Boston Police and MBTA Police officers and Sportsmen's coaches to learn and play tennis on Friday evenings and weekends (high risk times for youth violence). During the school year, the program is run on Fridays from 6 pm - 8 pm. During the summer, hours are extended to run from 6 pm - 9 pm.
"I've known about the great programs at Sportsmen's for a long time," said Regis coach John Ciarlegio. "When I called Gayna Sealy, the program coordinator, about the possibilities for the Regis tennis teams to be involved in some way she welcomed us enthusiastically! We talked about several programs but when she suggested the VAV program I knew it would be a great fit. Our players really embraced the experience and the first session last Friday was just amazing."
Team members also had a chance to share life experiences as part of motivational and team building activities.
The Pride will also visit the center Dec. 1, Jan. 19, Jan. 26, Feb. 2 and Feb. 9.
About Sportsmen's Tennis & Enrichment Center
Sportsmen's Tennis & Enrichment Center builds leaders on the court, in the classroom and in the greater community by providing academic, wellness and social development programs alongside recreational and competitive tennis instruction for youth and adults. Sportsmen's is committed to improving life opportunities for youth in Boston's Blue Hill Corridor while welcoming a diverse community from the Greater Boston area. The organization operates a 50,000 square foot facility in the heart of Dorchester, with seven indoor and seven outdoor courts, four classrooms including a computer lab, and a clubhouse with a fitness center and showers. More information can be found at www.sportsmenstennis.org
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