Lacey Fitzgerald’s days are filled with miniature tennis
racquets and golf clubs, and she loves teaching the basics of those sports to children ages 3 to 10.
Fitzgerald is a 1997 Farragut High School graduate, the mother of two children and owner of Club Sports 4 Kids.
She played tennis recreationally off and on through high
school and college, played on the FHS volleyball team and on a CBFO softball team.
She graduated from the
University of Tennessee with a degree in communications, worked in sales and then went back to school to become a surgical technician.
When Fitzgerald became a mom, she began to look for sports programs for her two sons [now 10 and 7].
“I was looking for programs in tennis and golf, and this area just didn’t have a lot to offer without having to join a club or pay for a membership somewhere,” she said.
Need is the mother of invention.
“I went and trained in Atlanta with a guy who’s been doing this program for about seven years,” she said.
Fitzgerald said it’s not a franchise [the original company in Atlanta has a completely different name]. “It’s a business opportunity kind of thing. He showed me what to do,” she said.
“It’s curriculum based, so we primarily set up at daycares, after-school programs, public schools, private schools, mother’s-day-out programs and we’re going to start doing birthday parties here soon,” Fitzgerald added.
Working with children ages 3 to 10, Fitzgerald employs a few trained coaches to work with her.
“It’s just like an introductory class that the kids can get excited about,” she said. “We want more kids playing tennis and not being afraid or being overwhelmed. They kind of compete with each other. We make it fun and they’re excited to come and play. We teach them the basics — the forehand, the backhand, the serve.”
She works with children both one-on-one and in a group setting.
Fitzgerald and one of her assistants were at Morning Star Daycare in Farragut a few weeks ago as a class of 3-year-olds poured out into the play area.
The children rushed straight for the contain of racquets and lined up on both sides of a short net made just for them. They waited for their turn to have a lime green and pink oversized tennis ball gently tossed to them.
“The kids love it,” she said. “I started back in the spring, and I’m finding that most schools work a season ahead. Everybody was already working on summer. Morning Star was one of the daycares that allowed me to come in.
“Twenty-five kids signed up for the very first class,” Fitzgerald added. “Goddard School is another one, and the Knoxville Jewish Community Center.”
Cost to participate varies according to the number of weeks. This fall the nine-week session is $180 and sessions vary between 30 minutes and one hour, depending on age and the number in the class.
For more information, go to clubsports4kids.com or call Fitzgerald at 865-245-0352.