Harlem Junior Tennis & Education Program
The Campbell's Hall of Fame Tennis Championships welcomed a group of very important visitors on Tuesday - a group of 45 kids from the Harlem Junior Tennis and Education Program. The kids enjoyed a Museum tour, lunch and a tennis clinic, and even snuck in a meet and greet with the Hall of Fame mascot, Penny. The kids' visit was generously sponsored by the "Friends of the International Tennis Hall of Fame. The group was escorted by Katrina Adams, former WTA Tour Professional, and current president of HJTEP.
The Harlem Junior Tennis Program was founded in 1972 by Bill Brown and Claude Cargill with the help of generous benefactors such as Mutual of New York, and Earl “The Pearl” Monroe. They were frustrated that few urban children had the opportunity to explore and excel in tennis. It was usually considered a “country club sport”, so they decided to provide tennis training to Harlem youth. They believed that children who learn to appreciate tennis as a lifetime sport develop self-discipline, sportsmanship, self-esteem and social skills. In 1979, HJTEP established the Homework Club and began coaching students to apply these personal skills to school as well as tennis. With the dedication of a wide variety of supporters, coaches, parents, board members, and many other volunteers, HJTEP has grown into a program that now accepts 160 children each winter and as many 300 children each summer.