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Brushing up at Fremont

Tennis: LA84's six-week tennis camp at provides area kids with instruction from local pro at a bargain.

August 12, 2011|By Charles Rich, charles.rich@latimes.com

NORTHEAST GLENDALE — David Komjathy showed his nimbleness chasing after lob shots.

From one side of the court to the other, Komjathy successfully returned several shots while completing a drill at a tennis camp at Fremont Tennis Center, put on by the LA84 Foundation, in conjunction with the Southern California Tennis Assn. and the National Junior Tennis League.

"I've gotten a lot better because camps like this help you with your game," said Komjathy said before moving on to another drill. "You learn about serving, forehand and backhand shots and you have to keep your eye on the ball all the time."

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Komjathy, 11, wasn't the only athlete brushing up on his skills under the direction of Fremont Tennis Center Professional Ron Zambrano. The camp, which featured about 60 participants between 6-16, provided valuable opportunities to learn basic skills for $10. It began July 5 and concluded Thursday with a closing ceremony.

Zambrano estimated that more than half of the campers were returners who were looking for additional means of improving their all-around game.

Among them was Vanessa Sadek, 12. Sadek attended the camp for the third year in a row, flanked by her older sister Tracy and younger brother Michael.

Sadek, who attends Roosevelt Middle School, said there's a purpose to attending the camp.

"I don't do that much during the summer, but I love playing tennis," Sadek said. "I like to occupy my time by exercising and that's what tennis does for me.

"I've learned a lot, like how to handle my racquet on forehand and backhand shots."

Zambrano, who also coaches the St. Francis High and Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy tennis teams, said 30 minutes of exercising before going through the drills provides the campers with motivation.

"You want them to have fun and you want to make them active," Zambrano said. "We make them run, squat and jump because if you don't have any coordination, then than you can't play the game or any sport.

"You can see the development that they've made in the last six weeks. Tennis isn't an easy sport to learn and you want to make them fall in love with it. I love the game and hopefully they'll continue to enjoy playing it and continuing to get better."

Zambrano said Reggie Perry was instrumental in helping Glendale become one of more than 50 sites across Southern California to host the program. After several years of trying to develop a local tie, Perry, a Glendale native, succeeded in bringing the event to the area in 2009 at Glendale High before being shifted to Fremont Tennis Center last year.

Similar camps were held from San Diego to Los Angeles to Solvang. A closing ceremony was scheduled to be held at each location.

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