The Amateur Athletic Foundation's United States Tennis Association/National Junior Tennis League got under way Monday at more than 120 sites throughout Southern California.
More than 5,000 youngsters are taking part in the event--a nonprofit, public recreational tennis program for kids between the ages of 8 and 17.
The goal of the six-week program is to expose young people to tennis.
Participants receive a tennis racquet, instruction, a certificate of participation, USTA membership and the chance to participate in other special activities.
Some participants will receive tickets to the Infiniti Open, a men's professional tennis tournament that will take place at the Los Angeles Tennis Center at UCLA from July 31 to Aug. 6.
The registration fee is $13. Scholarships are available for those unable to pay.
The City of Los Angeles Water Polo Team qualified two age-group teams for the U.S. National Junior Olympics, July 29-Aug. 4 in Orlando, Fla.
COLA qualified a boys and girls 13-and-under team of athletes from the East L.A., Mid-City and Echo Park areas.
"Last year we were selected as one of the top three teams from our zone to compete in both boys and girls divisions in the annual United States Water Polo Junior Olympics," COLA Coach John Borough said. "This tournament gives our athletes a chance to compete at the highest level in age-group water polo."
In 1994, the 13-and-under boys team placed in the top 10 nationally.
At last year's Junior Olympics, three COLA members received honorable mention for outstanding performance during competition.
The COLA teams are currently trying to raise funds to pay for the trip.
COLA, which was created two years ago, trains 45 boys and girls, ages 8-18.
"The program provides inner-city athletes with a place to train and goals to achieve," Borough said. "All but one of our members is from a minority ethnic group."
For more information, call (213) 847-2215.