Boys & Girls Club of Craig brings kids to courts for fun, exercise |

Boys & Girls Club of Craig brings kids to courts for fun, exercise

Ben Bulkeley

There’s singles tennis, there’s doubles tennis.

Then, there’s Boys & Girls Club of Craig tennis.

The difference? Five youths, ages 7 to 13, jammed on one side of the court, rocketing volleys to another five youths on the other side.

On Tuesday, more than 10 children, along with two Boys & Girls Club staff members took advantage of a little sunshine and went for the courts.

Ben Roach, 13, appreciated the chance to play in the fresh air.

“It’s just good to play outdoor sports, instead of staying inside and watching TV,” he said. “That’s what I would basically be doing.”

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Phoenix Harris, 7, might have been more McGwire than McEnroe – he had several moon-shots that flew over the fence – but tennis is something he could get used to.

“I like that you get trophies, and you can be in championships,” he said. “This is more fun than being in the rec room.”

Although he might have been wearing all Denver Nuggets gear, Kai Bertram, 7, said he was having fun on a different court.

“I like coming out here,” he said. “I like hitting the ball.”

As Phoenix and Kai sent volleys over the net, Torre Coffey, 8, was there to return fire.

“We can serve, and we can get out and play,” she said. “We don’t have to sit around all day – we can have fun outside.”

Even if she wasn’t on the court, Torre said she would be active.

“If I wasn’t here, I would be running around somewhere,” she said.

Starting the game is Torre’s favorite part of tennis.

“I like to hit the ball over the net and having good serves,” she said.

Playing alongside Torre was Amanda Moore, 8.

She said she preferred playing between the baselines to playing between walls.

“I like that we’re outside and not inside in the art room,” she said. “I just like being out outside.”

Ethan O’Mailia, a Boys & Girls Club of Craig staff member, said children usually get a chance to visit the tennis courts once a week.

Dani Kawcak, Boys & Girls Club of Craig staff, said tennis is one of many options for kids during the summer.

“We go fishing, swimming – we do a lot,” she said. “Every day, they have a different outdoor activity.”

Switching the activities is a pivotal way to keep the children entertained, Kawcak said.

“We try to keep a variety of activities,” she said. “They get really bored if we do the same thing over and over.”

Ben Bulkeley can be reached at 875-1795 or

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The city tennis courts, located at Lincoln Street and East Victory Way, are open seven days a week, from dawn to dusk.

The courts are free to use, and will remain open until winter.