Saint Paul Urban Tennis had quite the summer in 2020. With the challenges that came with holding programming safely during COVID-19, SPUT practiced their own SPUT S.P.I.R.I.T. (service, perseverance, integrity, responsibility, imagination, teamwork) that the kids learn during camps and lessons.Thanks to the SPUT families’ support and trust, summer 2020 was one of the best SPUT summers yet.
Summer 2020 Recap: Service
During a pandemic, it is vital that organizations like SPUT continue to serve their communities’ youth. SPUT served the Saint Paul community this summer through three phases:
Phase One: Imagination
Saint Paul Urban Tennis used their imagination and developed a six-week remote curriculum called Tennis Where You Are. This program can be completed from any location and is completely free. Registrants can participate at any pace that they like- even today! This curriculum allowed SPUT to continue developing youth during the very beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak when families and SPUT weren’t yet comfortable with having in-person programming. Special thank you to our Programming Intern, Frankie Lee, for his incredible perseverance to make Tennis Where You Are possible.
97 Tennis Where You Are Registrants
Phase Two: Responsibility
Saint Paul Urban Tennis took the responsibility of creating a Summer 2020 Safety Plan. Much research and collaboration with local school leaders led us to creating a plan that prioritized spacing, frequent hand washing/sanitizing, and use of masks whenever players and coaches were within 10 feet of one another. It took some creative thinking to create learning opportunities that kept kids moving and bonding with each other, but we are happy to say that things worked out. Because of this plan, there were zero cases of COVID-19 that developed from SPUT programming. The safety plan will continue to be used in our fall, winter and spring programming.
With the detailed safety plan, SPUT persevered through the challenges COVID-19 presented and began in-person programming at the end of June. SPUT offered lessons for five to twelve year-olds at Central, Como, Edgcume, Harding, Highland, and Langford.
337 Registrants for Summer Lessons!
The Saint Paul Urban Tennis Community Engagement Program committed to giving everyone access to quality programming during the pandemic. With the help of our Community Engagement Partners, we were able to offer programming at six different sites.
258 Community Engagement Registrants
SPUT was also able to offer Junior Team Tennis (JTT) in July. JTT looked a bit different this year. We were unable to provide transportation between matches, so coaches set up “in-house” match play opportunities to give players experience in those environments. JTT was held at Central, Como, Harding, and Highland for ages twelve to eighteen.
131 Junior Team Tennis Registrants!
Phase Three: Integrity
To stay grounded in who SPUT is as an organization, it was important to offer camps that not only have a focus on tennis, but also educate and empower. The Academic Creative Engagement (A.C.E.) camps gave Saint Paul youth the opportunity to learn through off-court activities featuring reading, math, science, and writing.
82 SPUT Camp registrants
Saint Paul Urban Tennis, Her Next Play, The Fort, InnerCity Tennis and USTA Northern partnered to hold a Tennis and Leadership Camp for Middle School Girls. The camp was created with the goal of offering a week-long experience for middle school girls from under-represented communities to connect them with each other and female coach mentors. The first-ever middle school girls pilot program went so well that SPUT is offering a fall Middle School Girls Team Tennis program.
18 Middle School Girls reached!
This summer was definitely a team effort. “Our 2020 summer wouldn’t have been possible without the support from our Saint Paul Urban Tennis community. Our families, participants, students, coaches, board members, and staff came together during a trying time and made this summer one of the best yet,” said Program Director, Josh Hansen-Connell.