Recycling Tennis Equipment to Bring Tennis to the Community
Founded in 2013 by Jack Nielson, Tennis Community Cares (TCC) was created to “provide to children and adults in need of tennis equipment, so they can enjoy the game without the costs associated with starting tennis.” Through donations of racquets, tennis ball, shoes, and clothes, Jack has helped several high school teams and recreation departments get the necessary equipment to keep the game alive. Through his hard work, Jack won the Jefferson Award in 2016, and was featured on KPIX Channel 5. But as Jack prepared to graduate from Monte Vista High School and attend University of Southern California, he wanted to find someone “to carry on and grow what he had set up,” Nancy Schultz said. Her son Connor Schultz met Jack when he was in fifth grade, and reconnected last year when Connor was a freshman and Jack a junior at Monte Vista High School. When Connor expressed his interest in taking over the project, Jack was thrilled to have someone so passionate and ready to take over for him.
The time finally came for Jack to hand over TCC to Connor in May 2017. Check out this video of Jack passing the leadership of TCC to Connor here. Connor said that he was excited to take over and “to share his passion of tennis with those less fortunate.” One of the main reasons he wanted to continue what Jack started was “to make a difference in other people’s lives,” Connor added.
Since he took over, Connor has been pretty; busy making updates to the website, to the Facebook page, adding a YouTube page, recruiting more people to help, and of course, making donations. One thing he is really excited about is finally finding a stringer, which he had been looking for six months. Connor wrote in his Facebook post, “Special thank you to Tamoi (Fremont) for donating a tennis stringer to TCC that her children used in high school. Thank You for helping those less fortunate who want to enjoy the game of tennis. This will help us string additional broken rackets.” Connor recruited two additional members to help TCC, Sydney Talbot, who helps string racquets, and Keaton Schultz who shoots and edits videos for their social media accounts. Since May, Connor has organized two donations drive, one in the summer which benefited the Pittsburg High School Women’s Tennis Team, and one in the fall that benefited the Richmond High School Women’s Tennis Team.
Connor noticed that he didn’t have smaller size shoes, which the Richmond High School Women’s Tennis Team is in need of. When Connor sees a need, he looks for new ways to help his community, which is why he reached out to his contact at New Balance who is currently working with Connor at this point and he is hoping that they can work out a partnership for this project.
Congratulations to everyone who has given their time and donations to help in this endeavor to help your community!