Tuesday July 8, 2008
Augusta, Ga.--Every program needs a hook, especially when it comes to kids. For the MACH Academy in Augusta, tennis the hook. MACH stands for metoring, academics, computers, and healthy recreation. Its serving up a winning combination.
Going strong for 16 years now, the MACH Academy has taken up home at the Fleming Tennis Center. Through tons of donations from various outlets and some help from the city, the academy continues to grow. Starting with tennis to get kids in the door, the program then takes kids into the classroom where they learn so much more.
"We learn a lot of things like responsability, things that you need to learn in life and it just helps me." said 13 year old T'Asia Robinson
During the summer, the Mach Academy hosts a full variety of camps for kids of all ages. Sure tennis is the primary draw for many, but they leave the program with so much more.
"I've been in tennis and sometimes we go inside and on the computers we look up stuff and research things to help us get better with our game." said Raven Fair of Aiken
"There's a bit of hesitation but once explain to them why and how tennis is connected and how the life skills and all of the other behavior things are connected, we usually have a pretty good time of getting them to accept it and to go along with it." adds Executive Director Betty Jones.
Just this past week the MACH Academy picked up a grant for $25,000 from the United States Tennis Association. The academy is expanding again and are always on the look out for grants and donations to keep the program running.