This region boasts of impressive mountains, beautiful lake sand rivers, and a population of rural kids and families that really love Advantage Kids tennis. Programs take place year-round in multiple Mount Washington Valley towns, both indoor and outdoor, lead by professional tennis pros and certified yoga instructors.
Headed by retired superintendent of schools and lifetime tennis coach Kent Hemingway, programs in the Northernmost part of the state are thriving. The famous Mountain Tennis men’s tournament every year is a crowd favorite, funding scholarships for the fall and winter advanced beginner sessions.
The Advantage Kids 2022 season is well under way. This is our third year of serving the children of the Mt. Washington Valley. Our experienced staff is growing to help grow tennis for the youth of our communities from Tamworth to Jackson.
We are running our Tennis PLUS! FREE introductory program in five communities (Conway, Jackson, Madison, Tamworth and Fryeburg ME). We have over 60 players enrolled in those sessions with about 80% returning from earlier sessions. These sessions focus on fun, fitness and mindfulness combining tennis skills with yoga and learning components.
Our Match Play program is designed for our advancing players ready for competition and a higher skill level. Over 20 teens are participating in competitive singles, doubles and structured play supervised by our USPTA pros Justin and Chris Chaffee. These players meet twice each week at Kennett High and include the top varsity players from Kennett High School. The majority of next year’s varsity will have been Advantage Kids participants.
Our programs run throughout the year. Spring, summer are conducted on outdoor courts. The winter season is challenging, making use of limited gym time for short court play. This is adequate for our younger players but does not meet the needs of our teens. The loss of the Mt. Cranmore indoor facility has been a great challenge for us to overcome. We are so very eager to participate in building a new indoor facility for the Valley. There are some USTA grant opportunities for new court construction. We are well poised to qualify for this award based on the success and growth of our youth programs.
We are most grateful for the partnerships and sponsors of our programs throughout the Valley. The Jackson Tennis Club, Purity Spring Resort, Tamworth Outing Club, Fryeburg Recreation Department and the schools of NH SAU 13 (Freedom, Madison and Tamworth) all contribute to our success. Our winter programs move indoors and have included a strong partnership with SAU 9’s Project Succeed.
A most successful Advantage Kids statewide fundraiser was held in June, raising tens of thousands to meet the needs of our 1000 players across New Hampshire. Valley businesses and individuals contributed to our silent auction with over $5000 in goods and services including complementary lodging, meals, golf, tennis and boating experiences. Our exceptional yogi, Christie Ann Rochette, also included free yoga sessions for all participants. Winning bidders were all from the Boston metro area and will be traveling to our Valley to enjoy all we have to offer.
Over 300 families have participated in one or more of our programs since we began with a USTA “Team Challenge” at Mt. Cranmore in the spring of 2019. Our success was published in VIBE, an arts and entertainment magazine For further information about Advantage Kids success in the Valley and across NH, please visit our website www.advantagekids.net.