It all started with humble beginnings — a program designed to help introduce tennis to the community. It was founded by Eve Kraft, the well-known pioneer of the modern-day group lesson.

For many who have learned to play tennis in the Princeton area since 1954, the Princeton Tennis Program, PTP as it is known in the tennis community, was likely where you got your start. Community Park in Princeton, Veteran’s Park in Hamilton, Robbinsville, Lawrence, or Princeton University are all places you have seen the PTP professional staff doing their thing. For the last several years, PTP calls the former Princeton Indoor Tennis Center home and has renamed it the Eve Kraft Community Tennis Center in honor of the program’s founder.

What does PTP offer? “We offer the very best group lessons to every age and ability level,” states Gwen Guidice, the organization’s executive director for the past 20 years. PTP is dedicated to serving players who might not otherwise participate in tennis, and to pursuing a standard of excellence in teaching and education that encourages the development of health, character, good sportsmanship, and responsible citizenship. A non-profit program that annually teaches about 5,000 students is well known in the Princeton area and surrounding communities as the place to go to get the best instruction.

The Princeton Tennis Program provides a wide range of lessons from its Tiny Tots program, ages 3-4, to discounted classes for seniors and every age and level in between. In its 10 full time and numerous part-time teaching staff, PTP has created a balance to cater to everyone looking to learn and improve their tennis. PTP offers junior camps over the summer and group instruction during the entire year.

At different times throughout the year, PTP offers tournaments for all ages, adult round robins and tennis ladders, match play for tournament training, and junior team tennis. It has several extremely popular summer camps run at different facilities around Princeton and Hamilton.

Even more so than the Tournament Training and Elite programs, the program flourishes due to word of mouth of its participants, that PTP and its pro staff care about the game of tennis and how to best educate both children and adults in the finer points of the game.

“Having the success we have in our group lessons gives us the opportunity to share the game with those who might not normally have it available to them,” adds Gwen Guidice. PTP gives much back to the community in the forms of Tennis in the Schools, a year-round lesson program for juniors and young adults with Autism, wheelchair tennis, discounted senior programs, and numerous scholarship programs among others.

The Princeton Tennis Program is clearly a community treasure for tennis and so much more.

Princeton Tennis Program, 609-520-0015. www.ptp.org

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