S.A.F.E. kids, Kali (9 years) and J.T. (7 years) Mathura, were invited to join Venus Williams at her “kids’ clinic” at the Smith Center on Tuesday, July 14th. Venus leads a kids’ tennis clinic prior to one Kastles match each season. When she was a child, Venus was a participant in a World Team Tennis (“WTT”) clinic led by Billie Jean King.
The first half hour of the clinic focused on basic tennis skills including forehand, backhand and volleying. The children were divided onto 5 courts led by local, volunteer pros. The “magic moment” happened halfway throughout the clinic when Venus walked onto the courts, sporting a fuchsia long sleeve top and white “Capri”-style tennis shorts. Immediately, the kids began chanting “Venus…Venus…Venus…” with incredible enthusiasm! Venus went to all five courts over the next 30 minutes and proceeded to volley with and coach every single child at her clinic. The highlight of the afternoon was when S.A.F.E. kid, J.T., was selected to play as Venus’ doubles partner. Venus initially gave J.T. a fist bump and introduced herself and they then played as partners against other teams for approximately 10 minutes. Following this session, Venus told J.T. “you did great,” and that he should “definitely keep playing tennis!”
Venus’ tennis clinic was an absolute pleasure to observe and was truly inspirational! As a tennis superstar, Venus clearly wants to give back to the local, tennis communities and wants to mentor the next generation of rising, tennis stars. She is an absolute role model to all and is making a tremendous impact on this youngest generation of tennis enthusiasts.