WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A tennis legend that hails from right here in the Port City has been coaching at-risk kids in Wilmington the game he loves since 2013.
It’s all part of the One Love Tennis program.
“I grew up right here in Wilmington, North Carolina, right down this street, 1417 Ann Street. I know what it is like to grow up in this town, as a young boy, the adversities you have to come up against,” said Lenny Simpson.
Simpson is a Greater Wilmington Sports Hall-Of-Famer and former professional tennis player.
He’s now using his lifelong love of the game to help kids right here in the Port City.
He built his program from the ground up.
“We started with zero kids and now we go through 550 at-risk young boys and girls a week, playing the game of tennis. That’s what One Love Tennis is all about,” said Simpson.
Simpson teaches the kids all the fundamentals of tennis, from the proper footwork to serves and volleys.
And the best part? It fights against a sedentary lifestyle that can be very unhealthy.
“The way it is now, to sit on the couch all day, playing all the Xbox games, doing all of that in front of the computer, not getting outside and doing something physical. I can’t think of a better thing to do than tennis and exercising your body,” said Simpson.
Breaking a sweat, and maybe even sparking a lifelong passion in the process, just like Lenny.