In a much anticipated summer filled with post-pandemic optimism, the Key Biscayne Tennis Association Summer Camp got off to a great start.
KBTA in association with The All Courts Tennis Services (ACTS, is putting smiles on the faces of kids looking to improve their tennis skills while having fun along the way.
The camp, now half-way through its11-week schedule, has been a beacon of light on the sun splashed clay courts of a facility seemingly made for kids and fun.
“It’s super good,” said Maria Marta, the parent of two campers. “My kids are in their fifth week of camp and they’re having a great camp.”
The camp, with a limit of 35 campers, runs from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily, offering not only tennis but activities like golf, paddle boarding and visits to the Nature Center on Key Biscayne — adding a diverse menu of options to the experience.
Marta’s kids — Juan Diego, 11, and Maria, 10 — moved from Honduras to Key Biscayne during the height of the COVID pandemic, and they were forced to find fun things to do while the world was in a virtual shutdown. So they’ve been looking forward to the camp experience. Now they are making friends and memories, taking full advantage of all camp activities.
“They love it,” said Marta. “Just the other day we went to the beach with some new friends that weren’t our friends before and we played volleyball and had a great time.”
Safety has been at the forefront of the camp experience. The staff has been diligent about its cleanliness practices, including regular disinfection of bathrooms and common spaces. KBTA is also maintaining the use of masks when not on tennis courts, as well as social distancing.
As for the tennis, kids of all skill levels play against each other, providing a perfect opportunity for players to improve.
“On Friday’s they have tournaments, where they can get an actual ranking,” Marta explained. “And they’re very excited about that part.”
Club Pro Juan Yuste said the camp is going better than he imagined. “The only problem we’re having now is the weather, the rain,” Yuste said following a recent morning session. “But we have a ping-pong table and have them play… We talk about tennis and the history of the game. We watched Wimbledon, so we have been keeping busy and having fun.”
The campers especially liked the story of Matteo Berettini, the Wimbledon finals player from Italy, who lost to Novak Djokovic. Matteo attended the KBTA Summer Camp when he was 10 years old. Who knows? One of these KBTA summer campers may play in a Grand Slam one day.