“It’s changed my life.”
Kimberly Gillespie, Family member, said she was looking for a hobby when she attended a Boots on the Court tennis clinic at Fort Bragg two years ago. Since then, Gillespie has dived head first into the sport she calls a “game-changer.”
“It’s made me healthy, I’ve lost weight, and I’ve met people,” she said.
Giving back to service members and their Families is the reason Dick and Liz Stockton started Boots on the Court five years ago.
“We wanted to thank our military and their Families for the sacrifices they make for the rest of us, and we do that through tennis,” Stockton said.
The first Boots on the Court was held at Fort Bragg because Liz’s brother was stationed at the installation. Since then, the organization has held clinics at military bases across the country.
The tennis clinics are broken up by age group, ranging from children as young as four all the way to adults. Stockton said four- and five-year-olds represent the largest group of participants.
“We want them out here just being exposed to the game, having a tennis racket in their hands, doing some fun activities. It’s just showing them the basics ... more than anything, we just want to see them leave with a smile on their face. If they do that, we’re happy,” he explained.