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Underserved Youth
The mission of BTP's programming for low-income and other underserved youth is to use the lifetime sport of tennis to (1) inspire and assist children to stay in school and improve their health, and (2) support development of education and skills that will lead to safe and healthy decision-making, elevated self-esteem and multicultural social competencies. BTP is a registered and active chapter of the United States Tennis Association’s National Junior Tennis & Learning Network (NJTL), a network of more than 600 youth development organizations providing free or low-cost tennis, education and other enrichments to more than 250,000 youth each year.

Why tennis? In combining aerobic exercise with the health and strength-building benefits of interval exercise, tennis is superb in promoting health and fitness. Tennis also teaches and develops hand-eye coordination and motor skills beneficial in many other sports and athletic endeavors. Further, BTP’s programs for underserved youth have demonstrated that tennis can effectively be used to attract underserved youth to health-building out-of-school activities and successfully joined with enrichments such as academic support, life-skill building and nutrition education.

A February 2013 report by USTA Serves, the national foundation of the United States Tennis Association, demonstrates that adolescent tennis players, in comparison to adolescents who play other sports or do not play sports, are more likely to have an “A” average, more frequently say they will definitely attend and graduate from college, are less likely to engage in binge drinking and marijuana use, and are less likely to be overweight. USTA Serves Special Report

PARTNERSHIP PROGRAMS
Through partnerships with government agencies, schools, community organizations, other non-profits and community volunteers, BTP establishes indoor and outdoor exercise-and-fitness-through-tennis and enrichment programs for low-income and other underserved youth operated in-school in PE classes, after-school and in the summer. Since 2003, these programs have served thousands of youth in many schools and communities in Baltimore City and Baltimore County.
If you or your school, community or organization is interested in starting a tennis-based program, please contact us.

INTERMEDIATE AND ADVANCED TRAINING PROGRAMS
As expected when BTP initiated its programming for low-income and other underserved youth populations, some of these students fall in love with the lifetime sport of tennis and demonstrate significant aptitude and desire to learn and excel. The mission of BTP’s year-round intermediate and advanced training programs is to insure that underserved youth with aptitude and drive have access to the resources and opportunities necessary to pursue and achieve excellence in and out of school through tennis and to parlay that excellence into educational and enrichment opportunities, including significant exposure, in most cases for the first time, to cultural and economic diversity that leads to development of important inter-personal and social competencies.

Both programs are open to all underserved youth in Greater Baltimore, whether identified from BTP programs or recommended by other programs or individuals, on the basis of aptitude, effort and home support. Candidates must be recommended to the program by a BTP coach or by a non-BTP program or coach with an understanding of the program expectations. Recommended candidates must submit written applications, participate in on-court tennis-related evaluations and participate, with their parent(s)/caregiver(s), in personal interviews. Parent(s)/caregiver(s) must establish that participation in the program is necessary economically for the student to access advanced tennis training and competition. Selected students and their parent(s)/caregiver(s) must enter into a written contract committing to attendance, effort, discipline, cooperation and performance in school.

SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM
Subject to funding availability, BTP awards full and partial need-based scholarships to youth who need financial assistance in order to participate in any BTP instructional, team tennis or competitive program.

Click here to make a tax-deductible contribution to support these programs.