As crews get closer to completion of the Marshalltown Tennis Complex on the Marshalltown High School campus, excitement is also building for new physical education tennis opportunities for Bobcat students of all ages.
Thanks to a grant from the United States Tennis Association (USTA) Missouri Valley “Net Generation” program, District P.E. teachers will be adding new tennis activities to their classes this school year. The grant, which totals about $11,500, provides new tennis rackets, tennis balls, nets, and other equipment to help students build their skills and enjoy the sport; P.E. teachers were introduced to the new equipment during professional development this week.
“The equipment is very nice, we are very lucky to partner with the USTA. I believe the students will have a great time doing these activities, they are fun and will keep them engaged,” said Hoglan Elementary P.E. teacher Blake Cutright, who played collegiate tennis. “Tennis is a phenomenal activity for all ages; it is a life-long healthy activity. Our students will be physically active, will learn social emotional learning skills and will have a fun time doing so.”
Fellow P.E. teacher Casey Moberly at Lenihan Intermediate School also said the new equipment is a great addition and will help develop students’ skills in the sport.
“It is geared to beginner levels, so they can learn the game and control their racket and the ball,” she said. “Tennis can teach hand-eye coordination, agility, strength, speed, and focus. Tennis is also a safe sport option.”
Marshalltown High School P.E. teacher Adam Goodvin said the new equipment will not only help develop students’ interest and skills in the sport, but will also introduce them to an activity they can enjoy as they grow up.
“The biggest benefit is tennis can be a lifelong physical activity,” he said. “Students may develop a strong interest in tennis and continue to participate outside of P.E. class with friends or possibly competing for the school.”
During this week’s professional development, the P.E. teachers were able to get hands-on experience with the new equipment. They practiced exercises that will help Bobcat students develop their tennis skills during classes this year.
In addition to the new tennis equipment, each school’s physical education program is receiving $100 from USTA Missouri Valley to go toward the tennis curriculum.