This summer, locals kids can participate in free tennis clinics at the courts in McCarren Park. Funded by City Parks Foundation, the free kids clinics will take place on Mondays and Wednesdays from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. starting July 1 and running through August 16.

“We’re thrilled to bring back our free beginner youth tennis program to McCarren Park this summer” said Mike Silverman, the Director of Sports for the City Parks Foundation. “I want to thank McCarren Tennis Association for its support and for helping us promote this wonderful program to the community.”

Silverman said that the clinics at McCarren Park were suspended about ten years ago, but “prior to that, it was at the park every year for over 30 years.”

Kids tennis clinic at McCarren Park. Photo: McCarren Tennis Association.

City Parks’ free tennis clinics for kids are mostly geared toward beginner levels. The clinic is divided into three one-hour sessions, depending on the number of participants and available courts. Children ages 6-8 years old typically play the first hour, followed by ages 9-12 and then 13-17. Kids need to wear sneakers and are encouraged to bring their own racquet, but there will be spare racquets if they don’t have one. Parents can register their child here.

City Parks offers this free program in several parks throughout the five boroughs. Instruction for intermediate-level players is available at select sites. Once the program begins, the site director will be able to provide more specific information.  

The tennis courts at McCarren Park at night, showing only a few lit courts. Photo: McCarren Tennis Association.

While the free kids clinics are exciting for the local North Brooklyn tennis community, the McCarren Tennis Association volunteer group is still facing challenges. Currently, only three out of seven courts at McCarren Park have lights, limiting the hours the courts can be in use. 

“With increasing demand, public court time is super limited, so our main focus is fundraising for additional lights to extend playable court time into the evening,” McCarren Tennis Association told Greenpointers

A long line for court time at McCarren Park, showing increased public demand. Photo: McCarren Tennis Association.

The McCarren Tennis Association has created a Go Fund Me online fundraiser to raise money for more lights. The goal is set at $240,000. 

The association has already raised $30,000 in previous fundraising attempts and is applying for a USTA Facility Assistance Grant, which could match up to $55,000 of the lighting budget and provide engineering services.

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  1. What saddens me the most about the fundraiser is that some city contractor is seriously asking for $240,000 to add a handful of lights to our community. I’m sorry, but that sounds criminal to me.

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