Learning Life Lessons Through Tennis

Young student athletes with New HYTEs show leadership during the 2019 Great Give®

Photo credit: New HYTEs

At New HYTEs, formerly known as New Haven Youth Tennis and Education, youth in the city learn the game of tennis and receive educational enrichment. During this year's Great Give, they embraced an opportunity to show leadership.

The high school and college students that make up the New HYTEs' junior board decided to develop their own campaign for the 36-hour online giving event. In the end, they raised more than $5,000 of the $18,100 in total donations that the organization received to support its programs.

"Our young volunteers believe in our mission to create healthy pathways in our community," says New HYTEs Executive Director Mavi Sanchez. "They went out and told their stories and reached out online and on Facebook to their parents, grandparents, and teachers at school. All of the students were excited to share what we do."

New HYTEs programs combine afterschool education and mentoring with competitive tennis. Summer programming is offered to combat the summer slide.

"Tennis is a sport about resilience, about being able to rely on yourself. The amount of pride that comes to student-athletes through a sport can have a ripple effect throughout their entire life," says Sanchez.

The afterschool program selects student-athletes between the ages of 6-12 from low-income neighborhoods. For no-cost, the kids engage in academic and character-building projects in addition to learning tennis skills and playing the game.

"The goal is to be able to engage our children through all of the healthy benefits of tennis and the other qualities of sportsmanship and etiquette, things you can take off the court and apply to everyday life, says Sanchez.

New HYTEs also collaborates with the city parks department to run summer clinics and with the public schools to deliver tennis instruction through physical education programs.

"We have an incredible city in terms of tennis facilities," Sanchez said. "To not see children on them . . . it should not be."

For more information about this organization, please visit New HYTEs profile on giveGreater.org.

Did you know?

Playing regular tennis is associated with positive health benefits including improved aerobic fitness, a leaner body, lower cholesterol, improved bone health, improved mental focus, and a reduced risk of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. British Journal of Sports Medicine

This story is part of the Inspiration Monday story series produced by The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven.