Ground Strokes Tennis Club, Inc. is a nonprofit organization founded on St. Croix in October 2012 to promote physical fitness and develop life skills in low to moderate income youth by providing tennis education. The Club attained 501(c)(3) status in September 2014. Ground Strokes is the brainchild of Coach Devon Peters and a group of fellow tennis players and committed volunteers who sought to share their love of the game with children throughout the community. Ground Strokes Tennis Club has no geographic boundaries and has served students in grades K-12 from across St. Croix through our weekend and afterschool programs.

What is our Mission?

Simply put, we are committed to expand access to the sport of tennis by providing lessons to the underserved youth population, who are primarily enrolled in St. Croix public schools. We believe that supporting physical fitness, through tennis instruction and participation in this sport will help the student athletes to develop discipline, problem solving, responsibility, teamwork and other positive life skills.

Our objective

is to expose youth to the opportunities available through tennis and remove barriers that may prevent them from greater participation in the sport. The Ground Strokes Tennis Club is founded on the premise that no child will be turned away because of financial circumstances, as all children can benefit from the range of physical and psychological advantages that are attained through participation in the sport of tennis.

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A Historical Perspective on Tennis in the Territory

Traditionally, the St. Croix community, which is largely low to moderate income, Black and Hispanic, has offered organized youth sports such as basketball, baseball, and track and field – all areas in which Virgin Islanders have excelled. However, this reliance on historically offered sports, has limited youth exposure to sports such as tennis. Access to tennis is further limited by a lack of organized programs in the St. Croix public schools, which comprises a population that could significantly benefit from the mental, physical, and psychological benefits of a structured tennis program.

The lack of access to organized sports is further compounded by funding cuts to public education, which has generally resulted in a loss of P.E. and extracurricular programs.

While tennis has been competitively played on St. Croix for many years, minority students from low to moderate income households have been significantly underrepresented on the tennis courts. Organized youth tennis is offered to students of local private schools and at privately owned tennis clubs, at which hourly tennis lessons average $70.00, a price that may be prohibitive for the average Virgin Islands family. The lack of organized tennis programs in the public schools limits the underserved population of students from low to moderate income households’ access to affordable and accessible tennis education, and the multiple benefits that can be gained through participation in this sport