What is Capital Kids?
Capital Kids is a recreational community outreach program, aimed at introducing tennis to children and youth. It was started in 2014 with a three-year Trillium Foundation Seed Grant and delivered between 2014-2016 in partnership with the Ontario Tennis Association, National Capital Tennis Association and the City of Ottawa. Tennis lessons with certified coaches and tennis equipment were provided to kids aged 6-13y.o. at no cost in public parks and community clubs across the city. The main focus of the Capital Kids is to minimize barriers in participation (proximity, price and equipment) and therefore increase accessibility to tennis for those kids, who would not otherwise have the opportunity. Encouraging more of an active lifestyle and getting more involved in the sport of tennis, as a sport for life, certainly is one of the important benefits to the children and youth from health and physical activity standpoints, as well as better performance in school and building confidence.
The Capital Kids program has successfully introduced over 9,000 children to tennis. After grant funding concluded, the program continued to run with the introduction of the affordable participant fees of $15, fundraising and donations. In 2017, 9 of the original 12 sites were maintained, reaching 1295 kids and another 1200 children and youth in 2018.
In the Fall of 2018, OTA was able to secure a three year Grow Grant from Trillium Foundation, where the program expanded to 6 new locations across town in 2019, two more in 2020-2021, and one more in 2022, adding youth 13-15 year old category and limited winter component indoors. This is very exciting, as it means more community engagement from children/youth and their families, a partnership with local community tennis clubs, community centres, schools, youth and volunteer engagement.
The Capital Kids Tennis Program in 2022 will provide low cost ($15/four week session) one-hour tennis lessons (option of once, twice or three times a week) from our great team of certified and experienced head coaches and instructors. If you are a parent, a club member, an instructor or a tennis enthusiast and interested in becoming a volunteer with the Capital Kids and would like to get involved, please contact us at email@example.com