To the Editor:
The formal opening of the new kid-size tennis courts on Saturday, May 19 was a revelation for me. A new phenomenon for Virginia, these six courts replace two normal sized courts that were located opposite the four story office building on Washington Plaza W. off North Shore Road. The six are equipped with lower nets than traditional, and the kids play with larger, less bouncy balls and special rackets.
Reston already has an impressive number of kids playing tennis -- 2,000 of them, starting as young as 3 years old, encouraged by 12 tennis pros on RA staff. Scholarships are available for any qualified kid. At this moment there are 15 kids in the program on scholarship.
The revelation for me was watching these kids play. (Until recently, I had played tennis all my life. As a teenager I had considered taking tennis lessons as sissy. Whether never having had a pro show me the basics of the game is my excuse, the fact is that I never got proficient at the game. However, I was very enthusiastic; I loved the game---getting out on the court for singles or doubles. I enjoyed the exercise and the camaraderie with the other members of the team representing the little club I belonged to on Long Island.)
So, last Saturday, I was particularly taken by an 8-year-old girl. She handled her racket like a pro---racket back the moment her opponent hit the ball, follow through with her stroke, finger on high following the ball for her overhead shots. But she was not the only kid I saw who had benefited from the program. And I imagine that numbers of the 2000 will continue on courts over the many decades to come, thanking RA's Mary Donovan, who set this all up, for enriching their and their offsprings' lives.