|History | Mission Statement | Organization Leadership | Programming | FAQ|
The Capital Region Youth Tennis Foundation's (CRYTF) 15-LOVE Program has successfully completed over two decades of programming in the Capital Region. What was merely a dream (of reaching out in positive ways to inner-city youth) in June 1990, has indeed become a reality.
The late Arthur Ashe was instrumental in helping found the 15-LOVE Program. He himself got his start on public courts; his philosophy and ours is to "use tennis to teach the game of life." While there are many inner city tennis programs operating throughout the United States, 15-LOVE operates independently. Many other programs are purely recreational, whereas 15-LOVE's mission is focused upon the whole child. It is a program of prevention.
We operate throughout the Capital Region, with special emphasis on the inner cities of Albany, Troy, Schenectady and Rensselaer. Over the years, the program has evolved on a year round basis, impacting more than 40,000 youth and their families.
The 15-LOVE Board of Directors is composed of committed, able, and ready community leaders. Its members represent the ethnic, gender, and geographic diversity of the area. The 15-LOVE Board meets six times a year while Board committees meet monthly.
Seasonal Staff - Fall and Winter Coaches
Our instructors receive extensive training and act as positive role models with our youth participants. The primary success of the program in fulfilling our mission of positively impacting the lives of young people stems from the relationship developed between our instructors and participants. We have an outstanding group of instructors, who do an extraordinary job providing encouragement and building self-esteem. Many of our instructors are, themselves, graduates of the program.
Programming15-LOVE participants receive free, high quality tennis lessons and important life lessons conducted in off-court activities including: an emphasis upon education, good health, family preservation, multi-cultural relationships, and good sportsmanship. In addition to the tennis focus of the program, we have been involved with mentoring and tutoring. 15-LOVE has the unique distinction of being the only program in the Capital Region using tennis as a medium to reach out to youth of all ages and backgrounds.
15-LOVE challenges tennis skills learned through:
Game Days/Jamborees - 15-LOVE coaches conduct special activities on designated days for competition and prizes. Participants from several sites come together to compete and have fun. Program trophies are awarded for each site and age group for best attendance, best attitude, most improved player, and the outstanding participant award.
Junior Team Tennis - Participants through sponsorship of board members and friends of 15-LOVE attended the professional World Team Tennis matches held at Schenectady's Central Park. More than 40 registered 15-LOVE participants play in the USTA's Team Tennis junior leagues.
15-LOVE encourages multi-cultural experiences through:
Field Trips - The 15-LOVE Program has had the opportunity to introduce a variety of experiences to its participants not limited to tennis. Tennis events which are attended by youth include annual trips to New York City and Connecticut for tournaments, and Arthur Ashe Kids Day at the US Open. Trips have also included local plays, movies, and museum trips.
15-LOVE advocates education through:
Denise McCoy "Little d" Memorial Scholarship - In 2004, the Capital Region Youth Tennis Foundation (CRYTF), which operates the 15-LOVE Program, in cooperation with Kevin McCoy, Denise McCoy's husband, established a scholarship fund in her memory. 15-LOVE and Denise share a passion for education and the belief that anyone with the desire to attend an institution of higher education should be able to find resources available to help make that happen.
Each year, CRYTF seeks to award scholarships to deserving students who have participated in the 15-LOVE program at any point during their lives. The scholarship is generally given for four years, and typical awards are $1,000 per academic year (for a total of $4,000). Scholarship recipients are expected to maintain contact with 15-LOVE annually to report on their progress while in school, through a January progress report.
15-LOVE College Prep Program - High School students in the 15-LOVE Program are eligible to participate in the College Prep Program. Through group meetings and one-on-one sessions, the students in the College Prep Program work through a four-year curriculum that: helps freshmen determine their talents and interests, aids sophomores in exploring careers that match their talents, interests and personel goals, assists juniors in locating colleges that have the programs of study needed for their career goals and at which they would flourish, and guides seniors by providing structure and motivation during the college application and financial aid processes.
Today's Teens - Tomorrow's Leaders - 15-LOVE realizes the need for responsible and effective leaders in our communities, our cities, our country and the world. We need leaders in the workplace, in government, and in charitable organizations. Who will become the leaders of the future? The answer is… the teenagers today. The Today’s Teens – Tomorrow’s Leaders Program offered by 15-LOVE is an easy Ways for Teens to Learn Leadership Skills. The Today’s Teens – Tomorrow’s Leaders Program provides a curriculum that is designed to enhance the leadership skills of youth by providing practical topics, youth driven discussions, and hands-on activities.
Essay Contests - As a means of integrating literacy, essay contests are conducted on designated topics. Winners are chosen by age group and receive prizes for their winning entries.
Frequenty asked questions of the 15-LOVE program...Is 15-LOVE really free?
Yes. As amazing as it may seem, 15-LOVE classes are completely free.
How do I sign up?
Just show up at a class and we'll have a registration form for you to fill out. You can begin to play right away!
Who can participate?
15-LOVE's mission is to serve inner-city youth, ages 4 - 18. We welcome everyone, of every background and tennis ability, including summer lessons for adults. Please check our current schedule for classes for your age group / ability level.
Are classes held throughout the winter?
Yes. The winter schedule is limited. We hold classes in some schools, boys and girls clubs, and community centers throughout the winter. There is at least one free open class every week at a racket club. Call or check the current schedule for more information.
Do I need a racket?
No. 15-LOVE loans out rackets for use during our classes. Participants are welcome to bring their own racket if they have one.
How is the program funded?
We hold one large golf and tennis fundraiser each year that supports 25% of 15-LOVE's operating budget. We also apply for competitive grants, but most of our money comes from corporate and individual donations.
How can I contribute to 15-LOVE?
15-LOVE runs entirely on donated funds, and is made stronger through donated time and talent. We've made it easy for you to give a gift online.
How do I apply to be an instructor? Do I need to be a great tennis player to be a 15-LOVE instructor?
The most important part of being a 15-LOVE instructor is a desire to work with children and positively influence their lives. We can teach you how to teach tennis, but not how to love kids. Our off-courts are a big part of our lessons, so you need to be able to talk to kids in a peer group setting. Call for more information (518-438-2039).