It's a month long celebration that will bring two famous tennis players to the court. The Grand Slam Fest will serve up amateur and professional games of tennis sure to inspire enthusiasts of all ages to pick up a racquet, even the kids. The best part about it is the lessons this week are free. Jason Calder reports.
The Grand Slam Fest officially kicked off this week at Bentwood Country Club.
Kevin Collins, Tennis Director at Bentwood Country Club, said, ""The Grand Slam Fest is a month long festival of tennis, where we have an amateur tournament and we teach 1,400 school age students free tennis lessons. Then at the end of the month we're going to be having the number 1 world ranked doubles team, The Bryan Brothers, for an exhibition at the Spur Arena."
This week is the Kids Karnival part of the fest. Bentwood Tennis Director Kevin Collins said there are several schools within the Concho Valley participating in the fun.
Collins said, "Every school within the San Angelo Independent School District, all the private schools in San Angelo and then most of the surrounding cities, Christoval, Ozona, Paint Rock, Veribest. All those area schools."
The idea behind the karnival is to give children a chance to swing a tennis racquet and learn the game.
He said, "It gets them a racquet in their hand. That's our ultimate goal is to give them an opportunity to get involved with tennis. Maybe they haven't chosen a sport yet so it gives them an opportunity to check out tennis."
Collins said the month long event wouldn't be possible without help from volunteers and tennis professionals.
"Put on by a huge amount of volunteers. We've got pros in town helping with these kids, the U.S.T.A., and we've just got a great group of folks putting on this deal for the kids," he said.
And who knows... maybe some of the children on the court learning the game today will turn out to be like some of the tennis legends that are coming to San Angelo.
The Kid Karnival wraps up Friday. The Grand Slam Fest exhibitions will happen September 28th and 29th. Proceeds will benefit the James Phillips Williams Foundation. For ticket information, call 949-1534 or log onto www.grandslamfest.org.