Racket Donation Teaches Life Skills

Gracie Woidat, Lifestyle Editor

The Let’s Rally Together Club, led by junior Noel Seo, partnered with the Bay Area organization Youth Tennis Advantage, to donate 20 tennis rackets and help underprivileged youth in the program develop their tennis skills at the Cal Berkeley tennis courts on November 15.

According to Seo, Youth Tennis Advantage targets kids “who are in need of academic and recreational support, and that’s what I really like about the program because it combines tutoring and also tennis clinics, and like, helping to develop life skills.”

Rather than simply giving out the rackets, they were earned through good behavior and test scores. “We came in and it was like Christmas Day for some of the kids,” said Seo. 

The club spent previous weeks collecting spare rackets from players in the community and set up a donation box at Sports Basement in Walnut Creek. They then refurbished the rackets to make them ready for donation. “[We] got a bunch of rackets that were pretty old, and so we just spent time refurbishing them, which was actually really fun, and re-gripping and stuff like that,” said club member junior Justine Ellery.

“Redoing the tennis rackets and donating them was really fun, I felt like we all got to be a part of something that’s a little bigger than ourselves, and going and spending time with the kids was a way to connect with a community other than Lamorinda and I feel that’s something that we don’t get a lot of opportunities to do, so I would be excited if we decided to go again and see the kids,” said club member junior Mabel Vo. 

The club is a great community. Noel is a really good leader and the club meetings are very open and welcoming, and then I like how she will always give you more opportunities to be involved,” added Vo.

Seo is planning on organizing a clothes drive for athletic wear and tennis shoes, as well as setting up tennis clinics for special needs children, which is something the club has done in the past.

“[Last year’s clinic] was really fun and it was a learning experience because I’ve taught kids before but not really kids with autism, so it was a lot of patience and figuring out what they needed to be engaged and feel comfortable. I hope we can do another one this year,” said Ellery.

The club hopes to expand with this year’s clinic. “Last year it was super small so I think this time we will just try to get the word out more and hopefully get more kids,” said Ellery.