To provide tennis and education programming for underserved youth in St. Paul, helping kids to become better people, not just better tennis players. We use tennis as a vehicle for creating positive change in the lives of young people.
Saint Paul kids will fill city tennis courts with activity, get into college, and be ready for careers.
- We never turn a child away due to inability to pay, specifically targeting low-income families that otherwise would not have the opportunity to play organized tennis.
- We embrace diversity, creating a welcome atmosphere for all participants regardless of gender, race, ethnic background, abilities, or income.
- We emphasize character development in all programming, modeling and teaching the following life skills, better knows as SPUT SPIRIT - Service, Perseverance, Integrity, Responsibility, Imagination, and Teamwork.
- Tennis is a lifetime sport that promotes physical fitness. We offer programs to support active aging and also incorporate nutrition and sun safety education into youth programming as part of our ongoing effort to produce healthy kids and families.
- School success is critical for success in life. SPUT works to support student learning through putting education first and tennis second.
- St. Paul is "the most livable city in america" because of programs like SPUT. We believe in being a good community partner and a trusted ally to parents in the growth and development of our children. We invest in our future workforce by recruiting coaches from St. Paul Public Schools, with over half of our summer coaches participating in SPUT programs as children.
Summer Tennis & Life Lessons - Our foundational programming runs every weekday at approximately 30 court locations across the city. No matter where you live in St. Paul, there is a guaranteed to be a site offering SPUT Lessons within walking distance.
Warrior Leadership Academy - launched in 2013, this program aims to give 7th - 12th grade SPPS students a chance to develop as leaders on and off the tennis court through weekly tennis drills and quarterly retreats that feature topics such as leadership, financial literacy, career readiness, and study skills. The academy is free and targets St. Paul youth living in poverty.
Out of School Time Tennis Clinics - Are St. Paul Public Schools in session? If not, SPUT is! We partner with the City of St. Paul to provide free tennis clinics at local recreation centers during school breaks. We also work with St. Paul School District to set up mini-clinics in partnership with many school sites
Tennis Anywhere Outreach Program - We partner with organizations that serve youth across the city to bring our transportable mini-nets and equipment to them. No courts - no problem! We organize tennis anywhere a ball bounces and have used parking lots, dirt fields and even dead-end streets as tennis courts in the past.
After-School Tennis & Education Programs - Our newest effort is to build capacity to offer year-round programming. We became a partner at two collaborative after school sites with Saint Paul Public Schools in fall 2013 and look to expand our work in this area.
Adult Tennis Programs - We offer a full menu of adult tennis programs for the beginning to advanced level player. Play with us and not only get a great workout, but also know that your fee supports our youth programs and outreach!
The success of SPUT is dependent on the many partnerships we've maintained over the years. Of particular importance were the key relationships developed with the City of St. Paul, Ramsey County and SuperAmerica during our infancy. These partners in addition to many others continue to be of great importance today. SPUT is also proud to be an award-winning chapter in the USTA National Junior Tennis & Learning network, founded by the great humanitarian, Arthur Ashe, and supported today by the USTA Foundation. Thank you to all of the corporate, foundation, government and nonprofit agencies that share our vision and values to help at risk youth gain access to tennis and education programming. Learn more about current partners and opportunities here.
The success of any non-profit organization is largely due to the strength and ongoing support of it's Board of Directors. SPUT is no exception to this rule. We are fortunate to have a dedicated board that invests time, talent and resources to making SPUT successful. The board hired its first full time executive director in January of 2012 to manage the day to day operations of the organization and oversee approximately 80 part-time staff and additional program and event volunteers. To meet our staff and board members, click here
SPUT began in 1991 when a group of Saint Paul tennis enthusiasts had a goal to bring tennis and important life skills to the underserved urban youth of Saint Paul. Click here to learn more.