Ron Halaka arrived at Tampa Tennis at Hillsborough Community College in February as the general manager and immediately set about improving the club. One of his first goals was to create a buzz for youth tennis.
“I came to HCC because I knew we had a great facility that could be first class, and I wanted to promote youth tennis,” Halaka said. “It started as a grassroots effort, and now we are on our way.”
He started by creating a 10-under tennis program that uses 36-foot courts, smaller rackets, and low-compression tennis balls that bounce lower and don’t travel quite as far. It’s called QuickStart Tennis and HCC is the only tennis club in Florida that offers it. Halaka said there are kids coming from all over the state for the Saturday morning lessons that he conducts on the 18 courts that are designed only for kids 10-under. The “festivals” run from 9-10:30 a.m