For Hometown news
INDIAN RIVER COUNTY -- The Mardy Fish Children's Foundation's second season of middle-school club tennis began the week of April 1.
Middle-school club tennis is now an available after-school activity at all four Indian River County public middle schools this Spring, thanks to the Mardy Fish Children's Foundation.
The season swung into motion the first week of April for participants at Sebastian River Middle School, Storm Grove Middle School, Gifford Middle School and Oslo Middle School. Teams include singles and doubles, boys and girls and operate with a "no cuts policy."
The MFCF had the opportunity to help 30 percent of the players involved by awarding scholarships as needed. The Foundation covers the coaches' stipend, team equipment as needed, end of season party and prizes for the kids.
Each team is coached by a USPTA certified pro or assistant; coaches include Andy Stanfield at Gifford Middle School, Brad Tulenko and Mark Hanlon at Oslo Middle School, Mike Daugherty at Storm Grove Middle School and Fran Stewart at Sebastian River Middle School. Support from team moms includes Karen Schlitt, Tiffani Buckley and Anne Warner.
The team at Sebastian River Middle School is extra appreciative this season as the Mardy Fish Children's Foundation provided the school with new nets and net posts for all four of their tennis/multi-purpose courts. The Foundation looks to improve courts at the other school's home sites in the future.
"We are all thrilled to have helped get a quad middle-school league started in Indian River County," said Kristen Wilson, MFCF director of tennis. "This middle-school program provides more than 60 kids with a positive, healthy and safe activity to participate in after school, which is what it's all about."
The Mardy Fish Children's Foundation thanks Quail Valley (Sam Garcia), The Boulevard (Rodmans), Hidden Palms and The Vero Beach Tennis Club for donating courts and supporting the kids of Indian River County.
Mardy Fish is a top-ranked U.S. tennis professional dedicated to supporting the youth in his hometown of Vero Beach.
For more information about the Mardy Fish Foundation Kids On Courts program, contact the organization's Director of Tennis, Kristen Wilson, at (231) 330-3984 or visit www.mffkids.org.