Since their first lesson 18 months ago, The Society for Kids at Tennis (KATS) has captured the attention and hearts of the residents of Victoria B.C. Their mission: to provide free tennis lessons to financially disadvantaged children. This month they are celebrating the 1 ½ year anniversary of that first lesson with the registration of their 2000th participating child.
In a remarkably short period of time KATS has assembled a sizable cadre, 12 professional instructors and 40 volunteers, who have conducted hundreds of hours of lessons for Community Centres, Social Agencies, Schools and The City of Victoria Department of Parks & Recreation. Support for KATS from the business community has been phenomenal.
Canadian Tire Jumpstart, Coast Capital Credit Union, The C-Fax Santa’s Anonymous Fund, The Royal Bank of Canada, The CKNW Orphan’s Fund, The TLC Fund for Kids, Tennis Canada, Viasport (Province of British Columbia), Victoria Real Estate Board, Peninsula Co-op, ParticipACTION and The South Island Tennis have all helped to make the dream a reality.
Sy Silverberg, Founder and General Manager of the registered charity says, “When we started this program we anticipated having 50 to 60 kids. You can imagine our delight in having reached over 2000. The enthusiasm with which our program has been embraced by so many diverse agencies and funding organizations reflects their belief that the benefits to the community are tangible. They appreciate we are filling a niche that has not been addressed previously.”