Apply For Grant

Stay Connected

‘Little Tennis Libraries’ helping expand the sport in Milwaukee

May 5, 2024

MILWAUKEE – You’ve probably heard of little free libraries. They are book sharing boxes where anyone can take a book to read at no cost.

A local foundation is taking that idea to help expand the game of tennis.

Tennis is a lifelong sport, but access to the racket and ball isn’t easy for everyone.

“I think you can be really scared of it until you put a racket in your hand and start hitting the ball,” said Rachel Badt.

Our whole mission is to enrich the lives of youth through tennis,” Badt added.

Badt and a team with the Milwaukee Tennis & Education Foundation had an idea to create little tennis libraries.

Thanks to donations, the mini tennis hubs are stocked with rackets, tennis balls, and information about the sport for people to borrow and return.

They’re at 10 locations around Milwaukee County, with most in the city of Milwaukee.

“The goal is to grow a little bit every year until maybe there’s one of every tennis court in Milwaukee. Wouldn’t that be amazing?” said Badt.

FOX6 first featured the Milwaukee Tennis & Education Foundation in 2019.

The group says it provides year-round tennis and youth development programs to help students reach their greatest potential.

There’s a heavy focus on kids living in Milwaukee’s inner-city.

“Using tennis as this vehicle where they learn about themselves. Perseverance and resiliency right,” said Badt.

It’s part of their goal to make the sport more accessible and approachable for everyone in the community.

“Just come, pick it up. See how it feels,” said Badt.

To check out the 10 little tennis library locations, click here.

The Milwaukee Tennis & Education Foundation says it’s open to more donations, especially tennis ball donations.