Atlanta tennis pro's camp teaches skills, helps kids get healthy

Pass by the tennis courts at Wynbrooke in Stone Mountain on any given day, and you will be sure to find Shadisha Robinson, owner of the Shadisha Robinson Tennis Academy, hard at work teaching kids the fundamentals of tennis at her annual summer camp program.

"Campers will have an action-packed day learning how to play offensive and defensive tennis. They will be taught proper balance and footwork, backhand and forehand tennis stroke fundamentals, and how to move from the backcourt up to the net. After their tennis session, they will be able to cool off and spend time swimming in the Wynbrooke Country Club pool," Robinson said.

Robinson, a graduate of the University of Georgia, was ranked No. 1 in doubles and sixth in singles by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association.

She went on to join the professional tennis circuit. Now, Robinson and partner, Kwame Gordon, use their contrasting teaching styles to create a well-rounded tennis experience for kids.

"I hope to change kids' lives for the better by offering tennis at this level," Robinson said.

Robinson is currently working with several children who struggle with obesity, and said the summer camp is helping them shed pounds and build confidence.

"They each have weight goals that I'm trying to help them meet," she said.

According to information from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years.
  • The percentage of children ages 6–11 in the United States who were obese increased from 7 percent in 1980 to nearly 18 percent in 2012. Also, the percentage of adolescents ages 12–19 who were obese increased from 5 percent to nearly 21 percent during the same period.
  • In 2012, more than one-third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese.

Robinson said operating a tennis academy has its challenges, but also its rewards. "I like seeing the improvement in the kids and changing their lives," she said.

The SRTA Tennis Camp runs through Aug. 5 for kids ages 7-17. Camp hours are 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Cost is $125, and includes breakfast and lunch. The camp also has a per-day option with a daily rate of $30; aftercare is available 1-6:30 p.m. for an additional $50 a week.

» Still looking for a summer camp for your kids? Our guide has everything from gymnastics to acting.