WILMINGTON, Del. – The University of Delaware women’s tennis squad recently gave back to the local community as head coach Laura Travis and sophomore Carmen Lai (Shatin, Hong Kong) participated in the annual Tennis in the Streets event in Rodney Square.

“Tennis in the Streets is the most unique grass root tennis community service event that I have ever experienced,” remarked Travis, who recently concluded her 22nd season at the helm of the Blue Hens.  “It always amazes me how much talent many of these children have and we are fortunate that the USTA, USPTA and USPTR have programs in place for them to continue learning if they enjoy this experience.”

Tennis in the Streets introduces more than 700 inner-city at-risk youths, many of which have never held a racquet before, to the sport.  The event is a part of the United States Professional Tennis Association’s Tennis Across America campaign, which is now in its 25th year of focusing on multicultural free clinics for children and adults who have never experienced tennis.

“UD tennis alumni Greg Barkley ‘79 and local teaching pro, Larry Hampton, put the wheels in motion to do this for our local youth,” Travis stated.  “In 20 years, it has grown from bussing children into Rodney Square to learn tennis into a multifaceted event with tennis, music, food, prizes and bounce houses.  This event requires cooperative efforts with multiple organizations and it’s an annual reminder that amazing things can happen with teamwork.”