The Anna Maria Island Community Center, in partnership with the Panda Foundation, is offering free youth and adult tennis clinics at the Rex Hagen Tennis Courts on the center campus, 407 Magnolia Ave., Anna Maria.
The youth clinic for beginning tennis players ages 6-18 took place after press time July 22.
The adult clinic is set for 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, July 26, with instructors Denis Pepegrin from Inspiration Tennis Academy, Jeff Russell from United Tennis Academy and Bob Davis of the Panda Foundation.
The Panda Foundation is a nonprofit founded and headed by Bob Davis, who was, some years back, the late Arthur Ashe’s doubles partner, and is the co-author with Nick Bollettieri of Changing the Game.
Davis, who was born in New York City, is a two-time ATA National Champion and soon will be inducted into the Black Tennis Hall of Fame. He won the ATA Junior National title and the Men’s Doubles title with his brother, hall-of-famer Bill Davis.
Davis helped create and was a director of the Ashe/Bollettieri Cities Tennis Program, which later became the Arthur Ashe Safe Passage Foundation. As CEO, he introduced tennis to more than 20,000 inner-city youngsters in 10 U.S. cities, while also providing health screenings and academic support.
Davis later created Black Dynamics, which offers scholarships for minority youths at IMG Academy.
Davis then started the Panda Foundation, which uses tennis as a vehicle to teach children the value of remaining in school, maintaining a healthy body and addressing childhood obesity and diabetes.
Davis, who moved to Manatee County in 1993, is committed to bringing the sport to Manatee’s under-served children. Already he has brought tennis instruction to youths at the Palmetto Youth Center, United Community Center and Church of the Cross.
For more information or to sign up, contact the island center at 941-778-1908 or Panda Foundation at 941-538-7115.