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Lobs & Lessons celebrates 8th year of Young Aces QuickStart Tennis Tournament

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More than 200 fourth and fifth graders from Richmond will showcase their QuickStart tennis skills April 27 at the eighth annual Young Aces Open at Virginia Commonwealth University’s Mary and Frances Youth Center.

The Young Aces Open will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is organized by VCU’s Lobs & Lessons program. Entrance to the event is at 120 S. Linden St., between the Cary Street Gym and Cary Street Field. The rain location will be at the Richmond Volleyball Club.

“One day leads to a year, which creates a lifetime memory. This is what we hope to inspire through Young Aces Open and the Lobs & Lessons program,” said Tina Carter, director of the VCU Mary and Frances Youth Center. “Tennis can help create opportunities for youth throughout their lives, whether they play for fun, to stay healthy or it becomes part of their educational path.”

The tournament is a partnership between the Mary and Frances Youth Center and Richmond Public Schools to introduce students to QuickStart Tennis, which is team-centered and uses foam balls, smaller racquets and modified courts to boost a player’s confidence and create a positive experience.

For the eighth year of the largest QuickStart Tennis Tournament in the world, each of the 26 participating schools will send four boys and four girls to play mixed doubles. Each child will play an equal number of games, with no elimination. After the matches, participants will go through various tennis challenges and educational stations. The tournament will conclude with an awards ceremony, with medals and trophies given to the top three schools in each bracket. Local physical education teachers will also compete in a mini tournament in the afternoon.

Sponsors include the Richmond Tennis Association, VCU Recreational Sports, Richmond Volleyball Club, Children’s Hospital of Richmond, Alpha Graphics-West End, Sheetz, Richmond Public Schools, Lobs & Lessons, Sports Backers, Wawa, Wegmans, Richmond Flying Squirrels, Chipotle and YMCA.

Activity stations are presented by Drum Your Dream, AmeriCorps and USTA/MAS.

Lobs & Lessons is a youth enrichment program that strengthens life skills, promotes academics and creates a path to higher education through the sport of tennis.

About VCU and VCU Health

Virginia Commonwealth University is a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located in downtown Richmond, VCU enrolls more than 31,000 students in 225 degree and certificate programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Seventy-nine of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 13 schools and one college. The VCU Health brand represents the health sciences schools of VCU, the VCU Massey Cancer Center and the VCU Health System, which comprises VCU Medical Center (the only academic medical center and Level I trauma center in the region), Community Memorial Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, MCV Physicians and Virginia Premier Health Plan. For more, please visit www.vcu.edu and vcuhealth.org.