Youth Programs



Photo courtesy of Holly Roberts

A major objective of each year’s Ojai tennis tournament, organized by the Ojai Valley Tennis Club (OVTC), is to raise funds to conduct and support various programs that introduce tennis to elementary school students and support the development of young tennis players in the Ojai Valley. This goal is accomplished through the OVTC’s Youth Tennis Committee, which solicits additional funding and manages the programs.

The all-volunteer OVTC Youth Tennis Committee works with the Ojai Unified School District, the City of Ojai Recreation Department, and several local teaching pros to introduce, develop, and popularize tennis for children of all ages.

The most well-known of the Ojai Valley Youth Tennis programs is the Ten and Under instruction program, formerly known as QuickStart. The program has been developed by the USTA, specifically to speed up the learning curve for young  kids with the use of smaller, lighter racquets, foam balls, and smaller courts. The program results in quicker progress and more fun because the kids can start rallying much sooner.  Now in its fifth year the program has worked with well over a thousand students from all of Ojai Valley’s elementary schools and is very well appreciated by the teachers, principals, parents and, most importantly,the students.


Photo courtesy of Holly Roberts

Here’s what Cheryl Leslie, a Sunset school teacher, had to say about the program. “I love the fact that there are enough ‘instructors’ volunteering so the kids can be in small enough groups that the students are engaged with very little down time.”

The USTA has also recognized the success of the program with a grant that will support the program for another year.The OVTC and the Ojai Rec Department are the main funding organizations, and the program is completely run by volunteers under the leadership of Philippe Gache.

This year, as the last three years, we will have a QuickStart tournament during The Ojai on Thursday afternoon before the barbecue.

Other Youth Tennis activities are the High Performance Clinic where selected young players are invited to participate in a day of intense tennis instruction and match strategy. All Ojai tennis professionals are donating their time and expertise for this special event.

The Parent/Child Holiday Challenge gets a large contingent of older and younger players on the courts over the Christmas holidays. This event is now in its fourth year and has proven to be a very well-liked and popular activity that brings the families together for a healthy, fun activity.


Photo courtesy of Holly Roberts

“I’m so very grateful to live in a town that has such a wonderful organization as the OVTC,” said Rick Thompson, the ORD Tennis Pro, who participated twice with his daughter Julienne and expressed his appreciation for the Challenge sponsors and how the tournament raises money to help the youth tennis programs throughout the year, while at the same time giving our community’s kids great match experience. “This is a great tournament they put on.”

In addition, the OVTC provides funding to the Ojai Recreation Department to support the Youth Tennis programs organized by Thompson. Through these programs Thompson teaches tennis at the beginner and advanced levels and conducts a summer program and an after-school tennis league for youngsters, who taste competition for the first time and learn the values of teamwork and good sportsmanship.


Photo courtesy of Holly Roberts

During The Ojai, awards are presented to worthy youngsters to participate in a number of tennis clinics, summer camps, and individual professional tennis instruction for further specialized training, development and competition. The awards are donated by Ojai tennis coaches and are presented at the traditional barbecue that this year will take place on Thursday during The Ojai tournament. The winners are selected by the Youth Tennis Committee, based upon a variety of factors, such as sportsmanship, motivation, demonstrated talent, potential to advance in competition, and financial need. Several of the recipients of these awards in the past will be playing in The Ojai this year and have gone on to compete at the college level.

These programs for our youth are made possible by the generous contributions of sponsors such as Mike Taggart, a local tennis fan, The Ojai tournament, theUSTA, the Ojai Rec Department, tennis coaches and other organizations and many dedicated volunteers. We are very grateful for the generous donations and support, without which these programs would not be possible.

If you would like to help develop character, combat juvenile delinquency, and enrich the lives of our youth, please make a tax-deductible contribution to support the Youth Tennis Program. Please send your check payable to:OVTC Youth Tennis and send it to:Ojai Valley Tennis Club,P.O.Box 482, Ojai, CA, 93023.For more information contact Jakob Vos, Chair, Youth Tennis Programs, at

P.O. Box 482
Ojai, CA 93024

For further information, contact Jakob Vos

Wilson-MOREDesktopOVTC Youth Tennis – Major Sponsors

Mike Taggart

OVTC Youth Tennis – Scholarship Contributors

Weil Tennis Academy
409 South Fox Street
Ojai, CA 93023
(805) 646-7213

Ryan Gaston of the Ojai Valley Athletic Club

Ojai Valley Athletic Club
409 South Fox Street
Ojai, CA 93023
(805) 646-7213

Rick Thompson of the Ojai Recreation Department

City of Ojai Recreation Department
510 Park Road
Ojai, CA 93023
(805) 646-1872

Stacy Margolin Potter
(805) 646-0382

Tom Rohrbacher
of the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa

Ojai Valley Inn & Spa
905 Country Club Road
Ojai, CA 93023
(805) 646-1111

Dimitar Yazadzhiev
DIMITAR Tennis Academy and Santa Barbara School of Tennis

Oceanside School Of Tennis
633 E Cabrillo Blvd.
Santa Barbara, CA, 93103
(805) 884-8521 Office
(805) 746-3644 Cell


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