Marianne Boyd, a volunteer from North Wales, has seen the program grow. Her daughter, Sara, went to the camp when it first started and returned every year.
“Sara starts thinking about coming here in March,” Marianne said. “She wants to know the date that it’s going to start because she sees people here that she works with at a sheltered workshop, she sees people here that she only sees here every summer and it’s so much fun for her.”
The clinic draws special athletes and volunteers from all around the area — spanning about 15 different towns. People from all different age groups participate.
The experience levels of the volunteers varies. There are current and former college players, high school and middle school players and some with no tennis experience.
“I think it’s a phenomenal life experience for people that are not exposed to individuals with special needs,” Holt said. “It just gives you a totally different perspective and especially the younger people, meaning the high school kids and middle school kids.
“That age range – junior high school and high schoolers – it’s a tremendous opportunity. Also, for them, it’s a good life experience but it also looks pretty good on a resume if they’re trying to get a job or go for National Honors Society.”
Sharon Bartle is one of the volunteers. She is a Director of the program and, along with her daughter Nicole, has been helping out for eight years. Holt described Bartle as “an integral asset to the program.”
You can register for the program at www. touchoftennis.blogspot.com and email any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Any donations — monetary, equipment, etc. — are appreciated.
Touch of Tennis Founder Jim Holt (left) helps participant Suyoung Kim with his form Wednesday.
Volunteer Evan Boroch (left) assists Isabella Felten with her form Wednesday at Gwynedd Mercy University.
Johnny Tate practices his backhand Wednesday at The Touch of Tennis.
Jim Holt Sr. (right), the father of Touch of Tennis founder Jim Holt (not pictured), gives a lesson to a group of more advanced players.