PEORIA - July 20, 2022 – The Peoria Park District will host the Annual Jack Sweney Youth Tennis Tournament and Carnival on Thursday, July 21 starting at 9:30 a.m. at the Bradley Park Tennis Courts to conclude the 2022 program.
Four series of lessons have occurred since June 4th for children ages 7-14. The lessons were free and located in Bradley Park. Over the past sixteen years of existence, the program has served over 1,800 Peoria-area kids, who have not only learned more about the game of tennis, but have also earned a complimentary t-shirt, racquet and sleeve of tennis balls.
"At the end of third week of lessons, each child receives a new tennis racquet and a can of tennis balls to keep," stated Scott Loftus, Superintendent of Recreation for the Peoria Park District. "This ensures they have the tools to keep playing the game long after their 4 weeks of lessons," Loftus continued.
The tournament and carnival concludes the tennis program made possible thanks to a grant from the family of tennis advocate Jack Sweney and the Community Foundation of Central Illinois. The objective of this program is to reach many of the at-risk youth in Peoria with the opportunity to learn and play the sport of tennis, and promote it as a lifetime sport.
"We are proud to continue our partnership with the Peoria Park District to help support Mr. Sweney's wish to provide educational and life experiences to Peoria's youth through the instruction of tennis," states Mark Roberts, President & CEO of the Community Foundation of Central Illinois.
Since inception, the Sweney Peoria Youth Tennis Fund has made 14 grants totaling over $46,000.