Ron James Youth Tennis Program
The Ron James Youth Tennis Program, named in honor of beloved Florence tennis pro and FTA stalwart Ron James, who died in 2019, is designed to bring tennis into the lives of hundreds of underserved area children between the ages of 6 and 18.
Partner programs will be the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Pee Dee, Girls University, and the City of Florence After-School Centers. These programs young people learn essential life skills and improve their grades. The RJYTP will use tennis to teach them the value of good sportsmanship, fitness, and the fun side of athletics. The ultimate goal is to give young men and women the skills and encouragement they will need to do well in school and in life.
The RJYTP is currently operating as a separate program under the guidance of the award-winning Florence Tennis Association, with management provided by the FTA Board of Directors. It is a member of the National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL) network and will eventually become a separate non-profit organization with its own community-based Board of Directors.
Small group clinics will begin on June 15, 2021. The Dr. Eddie Floyd Florence Tennis Center will provide courts and equipment and the City Director of Tennis will coordinate the on-court sessions and schedule the instructors, all of whom will be fully certified tennis professionals who meet current USTA Safe Play standards. Age-appropriate equipment and USTA-approved curricula will be used. We hope that students will learn to love the sport of tennis and move on to school teams and other USTA programs.
The RJYTP has received grants from the USTA Southern Section, the South Carolina Tennis Patrons Foundation, and the FTA, and several local businesses have donated generously to help this program come to life. If you would like to contribute, please contact FTA Board members Paul Pittman (843-667-9804) or Ernie James (843-229-6373).