If Marie Bouzkova can’t bring kids to tennis, then she will bring tennis to the kids - all from the comfort of home. The rising Czech star has launched a weekly tennis-focused Zoom chat for children as a way for aspiring players to stay connected amid social distancing.
Bouzkova, who is currently staying indoors in her South Florida training base, was inspired by all the ways her fellow athletes have been engaging with their communities during the pause in professional sports. With many parts of the world still under strict-stay-at-home orders preventing children from playing tennis, the player decided to take her initiative online.
“I was actually thinking since many people are now doing interviews with famous athletes, I could do the same ‘interviews’ but with kids,” Bouzkova explained via email.
In her inaugural Tennis Talk, Bouzkova brought together a handful of kids from around the world, ages of eight to 14, to the video call platform Zoom, where they chatted around the topic of the current period of social distancing and how it has affected them as young athletes. It was the first in a series of weekly calls that will take place every Sunday at noon EST.
“Everyone who enjoys to play tennis can sign up and we can just have a nice talk,” she added.
For Bouzkova, it was a bit of a reunion as some of the kids had supported the rising Czech star during last year’s run to the final at the Abierto Zapopan in Guadalajara. Bouzkova worked with the tournament director there to spread the word about the Zoom call.
“Last year I received so much support from the kids there,” Bouzkova said.
To bring it all together, the player created an Instagram account called Tennis Talk with Kids, where she’ll post photos and updates - and she’s already teasing a “special guest” in next week’s call.
Check out Tennis Talk with Kids on Instagram to find out more about Bouzkova’s weekly chats, and follow the WTA 4 Love campaign to learn more about how the tennis community is coming together during the COVID-19 pandemic.