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Cincy tennis foundation giving new courts, and more, to Withrow High School

Posted at 7:25 AM, Mar 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-03 10:39:12-05

CINCINNATI — Tennis is not a cheap sport, and that is why the Cincinnati Tennis Foundation is making the sport more accessible for students at Withrow High School.

According to the foundation, from the age of 5 to 18, it can cost around $300,000 total for a child to play tennis.

"Tennis is a sport that's really hard to access," Matt Detkas, the executive director of the Cincinnati Tennis Foundation, said. "It's kind of historically a sport for the wealthy. And we want to change that."

The foundation plans to have Withrow High School's tennis courts redone for the first time in about 50 years as well as adding 10 more courts and a $10 million indoor tennis facility in the future. Free summer camps will also be available for low-income families.

"Any kids that need rackets, balls, things like that equipment, we'll supply it," Dektas said.

Adaptive tennis camp for children with disabilities will also be available.

The foundation doesn't want to just make great athletes, either. They teamed up with Cincinnati Public Schools, the University of Cincinnati and Xavier University to make a curriculum where students can learn and play.

"You'll find computers; we'll have lots of resources and activities both in the math, cultural area, science experiments," Vanessa Rigaud, assistant professor at XU, said.

Rigaud said she remembers spending whole summer days on tennis courts when she was younger, and she is excited to be a part of building a tennis community for children.

"We're in a position where we can begin that now," Dektas said. "And then, hopefully, that'll change a lot of lives."