Family hopes Friday’s free tennis clinic is start of growing sport in Polk County

Dr. Angela Heider and her family of four would love to see the tennis community grow and prosper in Polk County.

And they hope the free clinic they have planned for Friday will help fuel that grassroots effort.

Heider and her four children, all outstanding junior players, will hold the clinic for players of all ages and abilities on Friday at 10 a.m. at Polk County High School. The clinic is sponsored by the Polk County Recreation Department and the First Serve Foundation.

Anyone interested in taking part is asked to respond to Henry Heider via text (704-402-2505) or email ( with the number of players who plan to attend as well as their age and experience. Players are urged to bring a racquet, but some will be available for loan if needed.

Heider and her kids – Ryan, 16; Henry, 14; Emory, 12; and Tatum, 9 – plan to make the day fun as well as instructional.

“We will have players of all ages and abilities and can work on the basics with some while others will participate in fun games and drills,” she said. “My sisters are great at helping younger kids with strokes and we will have small nets and special balls for them to use. For more skilled players, we are sure we can offer good competition.”

Ryan Heider helped found the First Serve Foundation, a nonprofit organization, in Mooresville. First Serve offered clinics, among other activities, to help spark interest in the sport. Now the Heiders want to expand that mission here.

“We started First Serve Foundation in an effort to introduce tennis to those who might not otherwise have an opportunity to play,” Dr. Heider said. “In Mooresville, we offered clinics for underprivileged youth and for kids with special needs.

“When we moved to Polk County, we decided to offer a clinic open to the whole community. We hope to have more clinics in the future and help grow tennis in the community. We have all played quite a bit of tennis and wanted to be able to share some of what we have learned and serve the community through tennis.”