Former resident provides tennis camp

Published 10:31 am Wednesday, August 3, 2011

MURFREESBORO—The friends David Ryland Beard made here years ago were never forgotten on his part.

On Thursday and Friday, a group of “Beard Beginners” gathered for a charity tennis camp for area children at Chowan University. The camp was organized by the 16-year-old Beard who was looking to give back to the community he once resided in.

The camp drew approximately 16 participants ranging in age from four to 13, who received some tennis tips from Beard and his mother and father, David and Kathy. The Beard family also teamed up with Chowan Director of Tennis Chris Stambaugh for the event.

“The camp is for people who want to learn about tennis, but may not have the opportunity, they can come and play,” said Beard. “We’re having a lot of fun and learning (about tennis).”

The camp was free of charge and each participant was given a t-shirt as well as snacks and beverages to keep cool and energized in searing heat on CU’s tennis courts.

“I know a lot of these kids, they played basketball with me, and I thought they’d really enjoy tennis because I really enjoy it,” said Beard.

The rising high school junior is no stranger to the tennis court. Mrs. Beard noted her son was number one on his tennis team at Croatoan High School in Newport, near where the family now lives. Beard qualified for the state finals after an outstanding showing in the east regional tournament.

Beard got the news out about the tennis camp through his friends in the area as well as his dad’s connections as the former district attorney.

“We just had a lot of people we thought would be interested,” said the younger Beard.

Demarcus Demary, a tennis first timer, said the camp interesting and he was learning many things about the sport.

“I like trying new things and I thought I’d be interested in it,” he said. “My school has tennis and I could play for that if I liked it. …I’m learning slowly, but surely.”

CU Coach Stambaugh said the event was “very successful” and was interested in seeing the camp return again.

“It’s something we definitely would like to do again, the turnout was good,” he said. “We hope to get more people interested in tennis.”