Seymour Tennis Club Helps Teach More Than Just a Sport

     Published on 11/27/17   Tagged under:    District News    Athletics    Seymour Dual Language Academy   

Seymour students learn about fitness and nutrition thanks to the school's Tennis Club.“Look how far I can stretch now… I’m becoming more flexible!”
 
Seymour students in third through fifth grades are proud of their physical fitness, thanks to the school’s Tennis Club. Now in its sixth year, the club is funded by the U.S. Tennis Association and private donations and has exposed hundreds of Seymour students to the joys of tennis.
 
“We are working on tennis skills so students will be able to play the game and hopefully to continue to participate in the future,” Seymour Teaching Assistant and program instructor Joe Rodriquez explained. “This activity helps students in many ways, from development of social skills to general health and physical conditioning. Our hope is to inspire the students to stay out of trouble and to continue to compete, maybe even at the college level one day!”
 
Initially, as a USTA-sponsored program, the club met just one day each week for an hour. Students were provided with equipment and tennis instruction. Thanks to additional support from the SCSD, this year, the group has expanded its content and has added more frequent gatherings.
 
Before school most mornings, the students gather to stretch and take part in exercises. On Monday mornings, they enjoy occasional visits from Cornell Cooperative Extension and Syracuse University’s Lerner Center for Promoting Public Health, who help stress the importance of wellness. They aim to help students develop lifelong healthy eating behaviors and setting nutrition and physical goals.
 
After school, the students break out tennis rackets and learn from a USTA tennis curriculum that is aligned with national physical education standards. They practice fore hand, back hand, serving and drills to help improve their game.
 
“It’s fun to play,” fourth grader Gabriela Reyes explained. “I like to serve the ball, but it’s hard for me to hit back hand. Tennis makes me more active and takes me away from tablets or my phone.”
 
“The exercise is really good,” classmate Alejandro Lopez-Cuevas added. “We get to play together in tournaments and sometimes we even play other sports like football and baseball using tennis balls and rackets. Plus, we learn about how many fruits, vegetables, proteins and grains we’re supposed to eat.”
 
Thank you to the USTA, Cornell and the Lerner Center for their ongoing support through this program!