One of Harvards and Bostons most popular summer activities, the Tennis Camps at Harvard, will be opening its 10th season on June 12 at the new Robert M. Beren Tennis Center at Soldiers Field. The Beren Tennis Center, dedicated on April 16,2000, has 18 outdoor courts with seating for over 500. The complex is anchored by a casino-style air-conditioned pavilion with balcony views of the Charles River.
The camps, directed by long-time Harvard coaches Gordon Graham (Womens Tennis) and Dave Fish (Mens Tennis), have introduced and trained thousands of youngsters, students, and adults in the Harvard and greater Boston community since its start in 1991. Fish and Graham hand-pick their staff from college coaches, area professionals, and intercollegiate players from Harvard and elsewhere.
The junior tennis camps for youngsters and teens ages 4-17 begin on June 12 and run through August 25. While campers often sign up for multiple weeks, each Monday through Friday session is a complete unit. This season, in addition to the regular Junior program (ages 7-14) and the elite Advanced Training Program (ATP) afternoon program, the camps are offering the Jr. Junior Sports Sampler. This program is an outgrowth of their popular Jr. Junior tennis program 4-6 year-olds. In addition to the usual introduction of tennis skills, campers will now participate in activities and games that will help them develop an even broader range of motor skills.
The JJ Sports Sampler is geared to youngsters who are still developing their basic motor skills. Many other camp-like activities are sprinkled in: art and crafts, drawing, games, and rest time (in air-conditioned surroundings), as well as introductions to several other popular sports. They will still receive a sound introduction to tennis skills but enjoy other diversions as well. “We also feel it offers a more varied and richer program for younger campers who would like to stay a full day”, says Graham.
For the older junior players in their teens (ages 13-17), the camp offers the more rigorous ATPI and ATPII in the afternoons, which offer a 1:4 player/court ratio. Here, hopeful high school team players, current varsity team players, and tournament players can sharpen their skills and strategic grasp of the game with top coaches.
The Tennis Camps at Harvard also offer adult evening classes, both recreational and elite, from June 26-August 24. These classes are offered for two to four evenings a week. Sessions last three weeks. Fish says, “Its a great way to meet new partners while learning and sharpening your skills in this game for a lifetime. And until you have seen this area at sunset, youve missed one of Bostons choicest summer spots.”
Members of the Harvard community are offered a 10 percent discount upon registration with a current Harvard ID. For more information, you can reach the camps at (617) 783-2400 or visit their site at http://www.geocities.com/bostontennis.