By Cherri Gregg

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A North Philadelphia rec center has new resurfaced tennis courts thanks to funding from the city and private organizations, and the sport will be the hook to engage neighborhood kids.

With the cutting of the ribbon on the Penrose Tennis Court at 11th and Susquehanna, the games began — well officially.

“We were teaching here before they had these tennis courts,” said Oscar Eppley executive director of Down the Line and Beyond.

The group used fake nets to teach tennis in after school and summer clinics this summer and raised $45,000 to rebuild two tennis courts.

The effort is part of a city-wide initiative to rebuild abandoned courts to activate the community with tennis, wellness and STEM programs for kids.

“It’s about providing them something great in the community they can all rally behind, Eppley said.

ALSO READ: City Job Fair Attracts Thousands To Philadelphia Convention Center

10 year-old Kaylam is used to playing baseball, but hit a tennis ball and learned the difference.

“Baseball, you hit the ball straight, with tennis you hit it from down to up,” he said.

And thanks to the initiative Kaylen will be playing again.

“It’s really fun,” he said.

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