Democrat Photo by Nathan Mayberg
COACH URVASHI TUTU Gupta taught this group of youngsters the finer points of tennis during a recent four-week clinic. Kneeling in the front row, from left to right, are Jennifer Browne, Arek VanKeuren, Taylor Schreiber, Victoria Marton, Ashley Berger, Parth Patel, Elizabeth Hannold and Alison Wellson. In the back row, in the same order, are Gupta, Carol Philip, Aesha Patel, Yaharia Santiago, Arielle Chin, Pria Budhram, Janine Cardoso and Mariana Montoya.
By Nathan Mayberg
MONTICELLO June 23, 2006 For eight years now, Monticello High Schools longtime and very successful tennis coach Urvashi Tutu Gupta has offered a priceless service.
She gives free lessons to youngsters from all around Sullivan County at deHoyos Memorial Park in Monticello.
For four weeks in the spring/summer season, she gives lessons to beginning tennis players. After those four weeks, many of the players, some of whom are as young as 8 years old, are showing enough promise to perhaps become the next Jimmy Connors or Martina Navratilova.
For Gupta, it is a chance to give back to the community while also beginning the careers of her future Monticello High School tennis all-stars.
A lot of kids from my tennis team came from this program, she said last Thursday evening after wrapping up this springs four-week session.
And that is quite a program. The Lady Panthers tennis team has captured many division and scholastic titles over the years.
Once a week, for a whole hour, Gupta proves why she is known as a master teacher in the area. The students listen attentively to her clear, precise instructions. By the last session, they are in full gear, volleying to each other in doubles teams. Each student can hit the ball cleanly many with impressive authority.
Gupta donates her time free of charge. In addition, she gives free T-shirts to the participants.
I love to do it, she said.
Next May, the free tennis clinic will begin again at deHoyos Memorial Park. But for those who cant wait, they can always contact Gupta for private lessons.