2006.06.19: June 19, 2006: Headlines: COS - Ethiopia: Sports: Tennis: Stamford Advocate: Arthur Goldblatt's passion for tennis began when he served as a teacher in the Peace Corps in Ethiopia in 1965

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Ethiopia: Peace Corps Ethiopia : The Peace Corps in Ethiopia: 2006.06.19: June 19, 2006: Headlines: COS - Ethiopia: Sports: Tennis: Stamford Advocate: Arthur Goldblatt's passion for tennis began when he served as a teacher in the Peace Corps in Ethiopia in 1965

By Admin1 (admin) (ppp-70-245-111-210.dsl.okcyok.swbell.net - 70.245.111.210) on Saturday, July 15, 2006 - 12:34 pm: Edit Post

Arthur Goldblatt's passion for tennis began when he served as a teacher in the Peace Corps in Ethiopia in 1965

Arthur  Goldblatt's passion for tennis began when he served as a teacher in the Peace Corps in Ethiopia in 1965

Goldblatt's passion for the sport began when he served as a teacher in the Peace Corps in Ethiopia in 1965. He was approached by a man who was the tennis champion of Ethiopia. The man wanted to learn English and offered to give Goldblatt tennis lessons. "He gave me tennis lessons and I gave him the language lessons, but I think I got the better end of the deal," Goldblatt said.

Arthur Goldblatt's passion for tennis began when he served as a teacher in the Peace Corps in Ethiopia in 1965

Good sport: Tennis program founder honored

By Alison Damast
Staff Writer

Published June 19 2006

NORWALK -- Soon after retiring, attorney Art Goldblatt noticed that the four tennis courts behind Roodner Court apartments were frequently empty.

Goldblatt, an avid tennis player, called the Norwalk Housing Authority, which operates the housing complex, and asked officials whether he could help organize an after-school tennis program there for elementary and middle school students.

Housing Authority officials were enthusiastic and teamed up with him to form Norwalk Grassroots Tennis, an inner-city junior tennis program run year-round for students who live in Roodner Court and Colonial Village apartments.

"I just wanted to see what I could do, and it has really taken on a life of its own," Goldblatt said. The after-school program, in its 10th year, gives about 325 students each year free tennis instruction and practice sessions for two hours every afternoon. The successful program has been replicated at community centers in Stamford, Bridgeport and Danbury.

Goldblatt's accomplishments were recognized June 10 by the New England division of the United States Tennis Association during the group's annual Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Newport, R.I.

Goldblatt received the Gardner Ward Chase Memorial Award, the highest honor given to an individual in the organization, said Jeff Waters, executive director of the regional branch of the USTA.

"He provided opportunities for kids that really just never would have been exposed to tennis and gave them a chance to play tennis and get involved with the sport," Waters said. "He really built the program from scratch in a nontraditional area, and that is just really kind of cool."

Norwalk Grassroots Tennis initially began with a federal grant secured by the Norwalk Housing Authority in 1996. When the grant money ran out several years ago, Goldblatt was determined to keep the program going. He has spent much of the past five years securing private donations and grants for the organization, which had a $100,000 budget last year.

He also has helped secure funds to begin similar programs at the Boys & Girls Club in Stamford and the Cardinal Sheehan Center in Bridgeport. For the first time, the groups began holding inner-city tennis matches this year.

"Art has a lot of vision, and his vision is to get tennis going in the inner-cities," said Rob Oppenheim, a tennis instructor at the Cardinal Sheehan Center. "He has worked really hard to raise money for the inner-city of Connecticut, and he is succeeding."

Two years ago, Norwalk Grassroots Tennis raised $40,000 -- half from private sources, half from a federal Community Development Block Grant -- to install a practice wall at Colonial Village. The wall allows kids to improve their strokes, and frees up court space.

After the success of that project, the program recently raised $30,000 from private sources to put up a similar wall at Springwood Park, behind Roodner Court.

Goldblatt hopes to install tennis courts and a practice wall at Ryan Park, a move that would allow him to expand his program to Norwalk's Washington Village housing complex. Plans for that project are still tentative, he said.

Managing the program has become almost a full-time job for the 72-year-old Goldblatt, said David Kimani, executive director of Norwalk Grassroots Tennis. Goldblatt spends hours every day organizing tennis matches, writing grant applications and visiting students at the various after-school sites, Kimani said.

"The time and dedication he puts into this is unbelievable," Kimani said. "His love for the game just says it all. He wants to use tennis as a tool, not to necessarily make the kids professional players, but to give the students a way to stay out of trouble."

One of the students helped by Goldblatt's work is Michael Crafter, 24, now a student at Fairfield University. He was a 12-year-old living at Roodner Court when he first picked up a tennis racket through the Norwalk Grassroots Tennis program. He eventually became an assistant tennis instructor with the program. Goldblatt served as a role model for Crafter, encouraging him to work hard at school and attend college.

"The thing about tennis is that it was one of the first things I tried that made me feel like I was good at something," Crafter said. "People told me, 'You're a good player, you're a natural,' and after a while you believe it. I really believed I had a talent for tennis, so it gave me confidence."

Goldblatt's passion for the sport began when he served as a teacher in the Peace Corps in Ethiopia in 1965. He was approached by a man who was the tennis champion of Ethiopia. The man wanted to learn English and offered to give Goldblatt tennis lessons.

"He gave me tennis lessons and I gave him the language lessons, but I think I got the better end of the deal," Goldblatt said.

After he came back from the Peace Corps, Goldblatt set up a law practice based out of a church in South Norwalk.

"I got to know the people in South Norwalk, and I thought it would be nice to help them once I retired," said Goldblatt, who eventually became an attorney for the city of Norwalk.

In addition to starting the Norwalk Grassroots Tennis program, Goldblatt has been active in the Connecticut chapter of the United States Tennis Association, serving as the group's president for the past three years. He helped bring the National Public Parks Tennis Championship to Stamford's Scalzi Park last year, the first time the competition visited New England, Waters said. In addition, he has organized a program for high-performing middle-school tennis players that lets them practice together on the weekends.

"He is one of those guys who just quietly goes around and gets things done," Waters said.

Copyright © 2006, Southern Connecticut Newspapers, Inc.





When this story was posted in July 2006, this was on the front page of PCOL:


Contact PCOLBulletin BoardRegisterSearch PCOLWhat's New?

Peace Corps Online The Independent News Forum serving Returned Peace Corps Volunteers
Jody Olsen is acting Peace Corps Director Date: June 30 2006 No: 920 Jody Olsen is acting Peace Corps Director
The Senate confirmed Gaddi Vasquez to head the FAO on June 30. Jody Olsen will be acting Director until the President makes a permanent appointment. Olsen has been Deputy Director of the Peace Corps since 2002. She has previously served as Chief of Staff for two directors, as regional director for North Africa, Near East, and Asia and the Pacific, and as country director in Togo. She served in Tunisia as a PCV.

Top Stories and Breaking News PCOL Magazine Peace Corps Library RPCV Directory Sign Up

The Peace Corps Library Date: February 24 2006 No: 798 The Peace Corps Library
The Peace Corps Library is now available online with over 40,000 index entries in 500 categories. Looking for a Returned Volunteer? Check our RPCV Directory. New: Sign up to receive PCOL Magazine, our free Monthly Magazine by email. Like to keep up with Peace Corps news as it happens? Sign up to recieve a daily summary of Peace Corps stories from around the world.

Changing the Face of Hunger Date: June 28 2006 No: 915 Changing the Face of Hunger
In his new book, Former Congressman Tony Hall (RPCV Thailand) says humanitarian aid is the most potent weapon the United States can deploy against terrorism. An evangelical Christian, he is a big believer in faith-based organizations in the fight against hunger. Members of Congress have recently recommended that Hall be appointed special envoy to Sudan to focus on ending the genocide in Darfur.

PC will not return to East Timor in 2006 Date: June 8 2006 No: 913 PC will not return to East Timor in 2006
Volunteers serving in East Timor have safely left the country as a result of the recent civil unrest and government instability. Latest: The Peace Corps has informed us that at this time, the Peace Corps has no plans to re-enter the country in 2006. The Peace Corps recently sent a letter offering eligible volunteers the opportunity to reinstate their service in another country.

Chris Dodd considers run for the White House Date: June 3 2006 No: 903 Chris Dodd considers run for the White House
Senator Chris Dodd plans to spend the next six to eight months raising money and reaching out to Democrats around the country to gauge his viability as a candidate. Just how far Dodd can go depends largely on his ability to reach Democrats looking for an alternative to Hillary Clinton. PCOL Comment: Dodd served as a Volunteer in the Dominican Republic and has been one of the strongest supporters of the Peace Corps in Congress.

The RPCV who wrote about Ben Hogan Date: June 6 2006 No: 912 The RPCV who wrote about Ben Hogan
Probably no RPCV has done more to further the Third Goal of the Peace Corps than John Coyne with the Peace Corps Writers web site and newsletter that he and Marian Haley Beil have produced since 1989. Now John returns to writing about his first love - golf in "The Caddie who knew Ben Hogan." Read an excerpt from his novel, an interview with the author and a schedule of his book readings in Maryland and DC this week.

Vasquez testifies before Senate Committee Date: June 3 2006 No: 905 Vasquez testifies before Senate Committee
Director Vasquez testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on his nomination as the new Representative to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture replacing Tony Hall. He has been the third longest serving Peace Corps Director after Loret Ruppe Miller and Sargent Shriver. PCOL Comment: Read our thanks to Director Vasquez for his service to the Peace Corps.

First Amendment Watch Date: May 4 2006 No: 883 First Amendment Watch
Maine Web Report hit with Federal Lawsuit
Website wins trademark suit against Jerry Falwell

Interview with a Hit Man Date: April 25 2006 No: 880 Interview with a Hit Man
RPCV John Perkins says that for many years he was an "economic hit man" in the world of international finance whose primary job was to convince less developed countries to accept multibillion dollar loans for infrastructure projects that left the recipient countries wallowing in debt and highly vulnerable to outside political and commercial interests. In this exclusive interview for "Peace Corps Online," Colombia RPCV Joanne Roll, author of Remember with Honor, talks to Perkins about his Peace Corps service, his relation with the NSA, "colonization" in Ecuador, the consequences of his work, why he decided to speak out, and what his hopes are for change.

PC Program in Chad temporarily suspended Date: April 14 2006 No: 872 PC Program in Chad temporarily suspended
Director Vasquez announced the temporary suspension of the Peace Corps program in Chad on April 14 and that all 29 Peace Corps volunteers have left the country. With a program dating back forty years (See Page 4 of the April 1966 "Peace Corps Volunteer"), RPCVs hope that volunteers can return to Chad as soon as the situation has stabilized. Congratulations to the Peace Corps for handling the suspension quickly and professionally.

Peace Corps stonewalls on FOIA request Date: April 12 2006 No: 869 Peace Corps stonewalls on FOIA request
The Ashland Daily Tidings reports that Peace Corps has blocked their request for information on the Volkart case. "After the Tidings requested information pertaining to why Volkart was denied the position on March 2 the newspaper received a letter from the Peace Corps FOIA officer stating the requested information was protected under an exemption of the act." The Dayton Daily News had similar problems with FOIA requests for their award winning series on Volunteer Safety and Security.

PCOL readership increases 100% Date: April 3 2006 No: 853 PCOL readership increases 100%
Monthly readership on "Peace Corps Online" has increased in the past twelve months to 350,000 visitors - over eleven thousand every day - a 100% increase since this time last year. Thanks again, RPCVs and Friends of the Peace Corps, for making PCOL your source of information for the Peace Corps community. And thanks for supporting the Peace Corps Library and History of the Peace Corps. Stay tuned, the best is yet to come.

History of the Peace Corps Date: March 18 2006 No: 834 History of the Peace Corps
PCOL is proud to announce that Phase One of the "History of the Peace Corps" is now available online. This installment includes over 5,000 pages of primary source documents from the archives of the Peace Corps including every issue of "Peace Corps News," "Peace Corps Times," "Peace Corps Volunteer," "Action Update," and every annual report of the Peace Corps to Congress since 1961. "Ask Not" is an ongoing project. Read how you can help.

RPCV admits to abuse while in Peace Corps Date: February 3 2006 No: 780 RPCV admits to abuse while in Peace Corps
Timothy Ronald Obert has pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a minor in Costa Rica while serving there as a Peace Corps volunteer. "The Peace Corps has a zero tolerance policy for misconduct that violates the law or standards of conduct established by the Peace Corps," said Peace Corps Director Gaddi H. Vasquez. Could inadequate screening have been partly to blame? Mr. Obert's resume, which he had submitted to the Peace Corps in support of his application to become a Peace Corps Volunteer, showed that he had repeatedly sought and obtained positions working with underprivileged children. Read what RPCVs have to say about this case.

Military Option sparks concerns Date: January 3 2006 No: 773 Military Option sparks concerns
The U.S. military, struggling to fill its voluntary ranks, is allowing recruits to meet part of their reserve military obligations after active duty by serving in the Peace Corps. Read why there is opposition to the program among RPCVs. Director Vasquez says the agency has a long history of accepting qualified applicants who are in inactive military status. John Coyne says "Not only no, but hell no!" and RPCV Chris Matthews leads the debate on "Hardball." Avi Spiegel says Peace Corps is not the place for soldiers while Coleman McCarthy says to Welcome Soldiers to the Peace Corps. Read our poll results. Latest: Congress passed a bill on December 22 including language to remove Peace Corps from the National Call to Service (NCS) military recruitment program

Why blurring the lines puts PCVs in danger Date: October 22 2005 No: 738 Why blurring the lines puts PCVs in danger
When the National Call to Service legislation was amended to include Peace Corps in December of 2002, this country had not yet invaded Iraq and was not in prolonged military engagement in the Middle East, as it is now. Read the story of how one volunteer spent three years in captivity from 1976 to 1980 as the hostage of a insurrection group in Colombia in Joanne Marie Roll's op-ed on why this legislation may put soldier/PCVs in the same kind of danger. Latest: Read the ongoing dialog on the subject.


Read the stories and leave your comments.






Some postings on Peace Corps Online are provided to the individual members of this group without permission of the copyright owner for the non-profit purposes of criticism, comment, education, scholarship, and research under the "Fair Use" provisions of U.S. Government copyright laws and they may not be distributed further without permission of the copyright owner. Peace Corps Online does not vouch for the accuracy of the content of the postings, which is the sole responsibility of the copyright holder.

Story Source: Stamford Advocate

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Ethiopia; Sports; Tennis

PCOL33181
33


Add a Message


This is a public posting area. Enter your username and password if you have an account. Otherwise, enter your full name as your username and leave the password blank. Your e-mail address is optional.
Username:  
Password:
E-mail: