“Our goal is to make [tennis] affordable for people who have historically not been exposed to professional tennis lessons... We say we’re not a ‘hit and giggle’ organization. You don’t come just to hit and giggle and have a good time... We’re serious about teaching kids the game. They’ll tell you we’re pretty tough on them.”
Ed Amos started his tennis teaching career with his son. When his son started to show interest in tennis, Ed could not imagine anyone else teaching him but himself, so he got certified as a tennis instructor. After much community encouragement, Ed founded a community-wide tennis program, ACE With Love, that aimed to bring professional tennis lessons to kids on the east side.
The ACE With Love program was established in 1995 as a part of the Wolfe Park Tennis Club, which was founded in 1976. The Wolfe Park program started off primarily as an adult program, but groups Ace with Love started to cater toward juniors.
The ACE With Love program covers the physical, mental and academic health of the players. The program has flourished in exemplary ways, and grew from six players in its first year to 80-100 students now, with a volunteer staff of tennis certified instructors.
To encourage his athletes to become exemplary students, Ed placed an emphasis on academics through the creation of the ACE Program, and for the last four years, the ACE Program has awarded students for achieving straight A's. Ed recalls awarding 6 students in the first year of the program's existence, but has now awarded a total of 28 straight-A students in the program. Mr. Amos says, “I like to brag about the fact that we hardly have any disciplinary problems. Our kids are pretty smart, they're pretty strong kids. Once you get that many kids are academically gifted together. You don't have a problem presenting information and they absorb like crazy, very smart kids, and very good tennis players”.
Ed loves to acknowledge the accomplishments of the students and professional team behind ACE with Love. He mentioned the numerous students who have gone to college with a full-ride athletic scholarship in tennis. He also pointed out that in September 2021, 15 staff members of the ACE program were publicly acknowledged for their work in the community by the Greater Columbus Tennis Association.