SELMA, Ala. — Rutgers women’s tennis assistant head coach, Hailey Barrett, represented the Scarlet Knights at the Selma Tennis Clinic, hosted by the Big Ten Conference and the United States Tennis Association (USTA), in Selma, Alabama on Oct. 28.
The clinic’s goal was to introduce the sport of tennis to young boys and girls in the Selma community by teaching them the basics skills of the game. Admission to participate was free for all, and the attendees ranged from first to eighth grade.
Barrett was one of five coaches or student-athletes in attendance to teach the clinic. Along with the second-year assistant coach was Michigan senior Jaedan Brown, Penn State senior Alina Lebedeva, Wisconsin junior Ariel Johnson, and Iowa junior Barbora Pokorna.
“It was a morning filled with love for our sport,” said Barrett. “It was so cool to see such a diverse group of kids, parents, and everyone coming together around one sport. It was just really cool to see.”
The two-hour event was filled with both instruction, as well as matchplay, to allow the participants to learn basic tennis fundamentals while competing against one another. The majority of the attendees were beginners and had never picked up a tennis racket before.
Everyone who participated in the clinic was able to take home a free racket and balls as part of the class, with the hopes of keeping them playing for years to come.
“Hopefully we inspired some kids to keep playing tennis. At the very least, we did our best to give them a fun morning of games and a little bit of instruction, but mostly games. Just introducing them to the sport, and hopefully inspiring them to keep going,” Barrett concluded.