Joint Altruistic Tennis Venture Provides Young Athletic Hopefuls with Scholarship Opportunities in June


On Saturday, June 11th, for the tenth year, young hopefuls from across the tri-state area will be out in full force at SPORTIME Randall’s Island, the John McEnroe Tennis Academy’s (JMTA) flagship location, as SPORTIME and JMTA coaches seek to discover untapped tennis and athletic talent among under-resourced kids.

The goal of both the tryout and the athletic scouting combine is to award full or partial scholarships to SPORTIME and JMTA programs at SPORTIME Randall’s Island, starting in fall 2022, to under-resourced young athletes from the NY Metropolitan area.

The event is a joint initiative of the Johnny Mac Tennis Project (JMTP) and SPORTIME/JMTA.

JMTP changes young lives through its commitment and effort to remove the racial, economic and social barriers to success through tennis, potentially leading to college scholarships, careers in the industry and, for a few, professional tennis playing careers.

“Tennis is a crazy expensive sport,” said Courtney Repoli, Assistant Director at the JMTP. “To date, we have helped over 30 kids obtain D1 scholarships.”

A 501(c)(3) charity, JMTP hosts two fundraising events: A Comedy Night in April, which raised over $200,000, and a Pro/Am event in August, which fetched over $350,000 last year, Repoli noted.

The Tryout is open only to players with tennis experience, ages 7-16, who do not currently participate in SPORTIME/JMT programs.

Young tennis hopeful gives it her all.

As previously stated, the tryout will take place on Saturday, June 11th, from 9:00am-11:00am, with check-in at 8:00am. A selection committee–consisting of SPORTIME/JMTA directors, coaches and leaders, including JMTA Co-Directors Lawrence Kleger and Patrick McEnroe, and, of course, John McEnroe–will evaluate participants. The Tryout will include tennis and athletic drills, point/match play and athletic/fitness testing.

“We look forward to our scholarship tryout day each year, as it is an opportunity to meet new talented athletes,” said JMTA Co-Founder John McEnroe in a press release. “Our mission is to provide access to the great sport of tennis to those who may not otherwise have that opportunity. I look forward to another great tryout and I urge anyone interested in learning more to be sure to attend on June 11th.”

The Athletic Scouting Combine will be held from 11:00am to 12:00pm, with check-in at 10:30am, on Saturday, June 11th, and is open to kids, ages 6-10, with little or no tennis experience, who currently excel in other sports and/or who demonstrate an above-average athletic skill set.

The Combine is publicized throughout SPORTIME Randall’s Island’s neighboring communities, including East Harlem, the South Bronx and Queens, although participants from other neighborhoods are welcome. Participants will engage in a variety of physical tests and games, designed by SPORTIME/JMTA coaches, to assess objective, measurable capacities such as speed, strength, agility and hand-eye coordination. Other attributes such as attitude, concentration, energy and competitive spirit will be considered in
the awarding of scholarships.

Scholarship winners for both the Tryout and the Athletic Scouting Combine will be notified at a later date. Means testing is a requirement for JMTP scholarships, so winners will need to submit requisite financial information prior to approval.

Proper athletic attire, including footwear, is required. Participants will have access to locker room facilities. Plus, water will be available on court. SPORTIME Randall’s Island features the “Courtside Cafe” with a variety of food, snack and beverage options, and a full-service pro shop, including professional stringing services. Registrants are welcomed to visit https://www.sportimeny.com/jmtascholarship for online registration or to print and submit via postal mail, online form or fax.

SPORTIME Randall’s Island and JMTP are located at One Randall’s Island, in Randall’s Island Park, Manhattan. For more information, parents of interested players/athletes can email scholarshipnyc@sportimeny.com or visit www.SportimeNY.com/JMTA.

— Jerry Del Priore

Photo: JMTP

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