Love-Love set to begin program

Published 9:51 pm Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Pike County, for the third year, will have a unique program to help benefit the community.

The Love-Love Chapter of Troy enrollment has begun and will begin its after school program on Jan. 30. Love-Love is a program partnered with the United States Tennis Association and National Junior Tennis and Learning that provides kids with tools and resources needed to enhance their lives through education, life skills and tennis.

The program has been implemented in cities across the country with Troy being the smallest of the markets involved.

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Love-Love is unique in that it combines tennis instruction with education and life skills.

Operations manager Larenzo Pearson feels tennis is a great vehicle for helping children optimize their abilities not just athletically but academically as well.

Pearson was a standout football player at Ariton before heading to the University of Alabama. Once in Tuscaloosa, Pearson was roommates with the Crimson Tide’s top tennis player. Years later his interest in the sport would help motivate one of his daughters, Taylor.

“I was looking at my daughter (when she was younger) and was trying to figure out a way to get her off the couch,” Pearson said. “We started playing and after a couple of years she joined the ITF (International Tennis Federation). Since that time tennis has become our life.”

Pearson joined forces with Troy’s head tennis coach Eric Hayes, who headed the program its first two years, in hopes of helping the program grow.

“We are fortunate to have Lorenzo helping us grow the program,” Hayes said. “We are pooling the resources of the community to help kids excel and learn valuable lessons through tennis.”

Pearson’s daughter, who continues to play in ITF events as a professional, will also assist with tennis instruction.

Troy was awarded the program through the extraordinary efforts of both Hayes and Tom Cundy of Miami Beach, Fla. Cundy’s grandson, Tommy, is a sophomore on Troy’s tennis squad.

Love-Love is a free program. Persons interested in more information for their child aged 9-12 should call 334-670-3649.