Select Page


A major objective of each year’s Ojai tennis tournament, hosted by the Ojai Valley Tennis Club (OVTC), is to raise funds to conduct and support various programs that introduce tennis to elementary school students, and support the development of young tennis players in the Ojai Valley. This goal is accomplished through the OVTC’s Youth Tennis Committee, which solicits additional funding and manages the program.

The all-volunteer OVTC Youth Tennis Committee works with the Ojai Unified School District, the City of Ojai Recreation Department, and several local teaching pros to introduce, develop, and popularize tennis for children of all ages.

Instruction is initiated in elementary schools by experienced volunteers to introduce basic skills and show how much fun the game is.  This instruction is based on the Quick Start, now called the Ten and Under program developed by the USTA. Several of our volunteers have attended training sessions to allow for effective and fun instruction. The Quick Start is led by Philippe Gache, and funding is provided mostly by the Ojai Recreation Department. This year like the last two years we will have a QuickStart tournament on Thursday before the barbeque.

In addition, funding is provided by the OVTC to the Ojai Recreation Department to support the youth tennis programs, organized by Rick Thompson, the City tennis professional, to teach tennis at the beginner and advanced levels, conduct a summer program, and an after-school tennis league for youngsters to taste competition for the first time and to learn the values of teamwork and good sportsmanship.

Awards are presented to worthy youngsters to participate in a number of tennis clinics, summer camps, and individual professional tennis instruction for further specialized training, development and competition. These awards are presented to Ojai Valley youth, selected by the Youth Tennis Committee, based upon a variety of factors; such as sportsmanship, motivation, demonstrated talent, potential to advance in competition, and financial need. Several of the recipients of these awards in the past will be playing in THE OJAI this year or have gone on to compete at the college level.

A number of these special sportsmanship awards and summer tennis camp opportunities, which are all donated by Ojai tennis coaches, are presented at the traditional barbecue, that this year will take place on Thursday during THE OJAI Tournament to boys and girls who have participated in the various youth tennis programs.

The Youth Tennis Committee also organizes and hosts the High Performance Tennis Clinic, utilizing professional coaches to develop competitive strategies and skills of invited top-ranked junior players in the region. It supports World Team Tennis, The Wilson youth tennis clinic, Two local Ventura County Jr. Tennis tournaments, Local school tennis programs, The Tennis Marathon, organized by the Ojai Youth Foundation, and The Ojai Day.

In December of 2012 the second annual Ojai Holiday Tennis Challenge was completed with great success. The OVTC is planning to make this event a new tradition in Ojai, already considering the 3rd annual Ojai Holiday Tennis Challenge toward the end of 2013.

These programs for our youth are made possible by the generous contributions of sponsors and citizens of the community. Sponsors such as Mike Taggart (a local tennis fan) and THE OJAI Tournament contribute about $25,000 per year. The quality of the programs and success of reaching and influencing more kids is dependent, however, on private donations. Since this is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization, every penny donated goes directly to benefit the youth.

If you would like to help develop character and enrich the lives of our youth to combat juvenile delinquency, you can make a tax-deductible contribution to support the Youth Tennis program. Please send your check payable to: OVTC Youth Tennis and send it to:

P.O. Box 482
Ojai, CA 93024

For further information, contact Jakob Vos

OVTC Youth Tennis – Major Sponsors

Mike Taggart

OVTC Youth Tennis – Scholarship Contributors

Weil Tennis Academy

Weil Tennis Academy
409 South Fox Street
Ojai, CA 93023
(805) 646-7213

Ryan Gaston of the Ojai Valley Athletic Club

Ojai Valley Athletic Club
409 South Fox Street
Ojai, CA 93023
(805) 646-7213

Rick Thompson of the Ojai Recreation Department

City of Ojai Recreation Department
510 Park Road
Ojai, CA 93023
(805) 646-1872

Stacy Margolin Potter

(805) 646-0382

Tom Rohrbacher
of the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa

Ojai Valley Inn & Spa
905 Country Club Road
Ojai, CA 93023
(805) 646-1111

Dimitar Yazadzhiev
DIMITAR Tennis Academy and Santa Barbara School of Tennis

Oceanside School Of Tennis
633 E Cabrillo Blvd.
Santa Barbara, CA, 93103
(805) 884-8521 Office
(805) 746-3644 Cell


The 10th Annual Vos Holiday Tennis Challenge was as a huge success.

OVTC Youth Tennis Activities Support The Ojai

With the help of more than 500 local volunteers, the Ojai Valley Tennis Club (OVTC), organizes and hosts the annual Ojai Tennis Tournament.  Another key objective of the club is to promote interest in physical fitness and tennis among Ojai and Ventura area youth year-round.

OVTC Youth Tennis Program Highlights

The OVTC Youth Tennis Committee conducts and supports programs to introduce the game of tennis to Ojai Valley youth and to encourage their continued participation in the sport.

Dozens of local tennis enthusiasts support the youth programs by volunteering as coaches and mentors, as well as business sponsors. Some of the youth program sponsors include Wilson Sporting Goods and the USTA/SCTA Organization, both of whom donate tennis equipment; Toppers Pizza and Friends Ranches provide delicious and healthy citrus snacks and lunches at fundraising events; and the OVTC each donate direct funds.

This year, OVTC donated funds to the Ojai Recreation Department (ORD) Youth Tennis Programs for youth tennis scholarships, prizes and tennis equipment, all of which fosters friendly competition on the Libbey Park courts. Tennis Professional, Katya Welborn, has more than 80 participating Junior players (ages 4-18 yrs), took the helm of the ORD youth tennis program in 2021. Welborn is also in charge of training the Ojai Ball kids for the annual tournament.

The 10th Annual Vos Holiday Tennis Challenge, a well anticipated year end tradition, is a tournament in which 64 players (32 teams of adult/youth paired teams) participated in both “In for Fun” and “In To Win” Divisions to raise funds for area youth programs. The annual Vos Challenge guarantees a weekend of family fun to wind down the old and ring in the new year.

The OVTC also organizes a “High Performance Clinic” in late March where local tennis professionals share their expertise with a select group of promising young tennis players for a day. Juniors are “sponsored” by coaches to participate and rotate through 6 or 8 courts, receiving instruction for a different skill on each court.

During The Ojai, the OVTC presents Sportsmanship awards to deserving youth who are nominated by local tennis coaches and selected by the Youth Tennis committee. The selection is based on sportsmanship, motivation, talent, potential to advance, and financial need.

The prizes are tennis related, including tennis scholarships for summer camps and individual and group lessons, donated by various Ojai Valley tennis professionals.

Several past Youth Award winners will be playing in this year’s Ojai Tournament and have gone on to compete at the college level. In addition, OVTC supports the Ventura County Junior Tennis Association tournaments and provides VCTA Youth Team Tennis programs with trophies, balls and prizes.

One of OVTC’s most successful and wide spread youth tennis programs is the “10 and Under” program (formerly QuickStart), that is brought to Ojai Valley Elementary schools and some Ventura schools through a collaboration between OVTC, ORD, Ojai Unified and Ventura Unified School Districts.

Developed by the USTA, 10 and Under tennis is specifically designed to speed up the learning curve for younger children, with the use of smaller, lighter racquets, under-inflated balls and smaller courts. The instruction results in quicker progress and more fun, because the kids can start to rally and play sooner. The program is now in its ninth year, under the outstanding leadership of tennis professional, Philippe Gache. With the help of several dedicated adult volunteers and Gache’s leadership, the 10 and Under tennis program has grown from two to more than eight elementary schools in the Ojai Valley and Ventura, and works with an average of 2000 students between 3rd and 6th grades during the school year.

Gache said that Ojai schools such as Topa Topa Elementary, Mira Monte Elementary, Ojai Valley School, Oak Grove School, Montessori School of Ojai and Sunset Elementary are great examples of schools where the principals, teachers and parents are very involved in the success of the program.

According to Program Director Gache, the youth tennis program in the Ventura Unified School District (VUSD) has been very well received, particularly in the Title One schools.

“Most of these kids have never had a racquet in their hands and tennis brings them a new physical activity in a satisfying and fun way,” Gache said.

During the playing of The Ojai, a 10 and Under Tennis Challenge will once again take place in which promising and interested students can challenge each other for prizes and school pride. The Challenge will be held at the Lower Libbey Park courts on Sunday, April 26th, during the tournament at 10:30 a.m. 

“The OVTC would like to thank Wilson Sporting Goods, and several local businesses and all of our volunteers and all of Ojai Valley’s Tennis professionals for their generous contributions and sponsorships and unwavering support of all Youth Tennis activities,” said Craig Fugle, the OVTC Chair of Youth Tennis Programs. Fugle added that for years Michael Taggart was an ardent financial supporter of Ojai Youth Tennis Programs before his passing in September of 2019. 

To volunteer or to donate to the OVTC Youth Tennis efforts, please contact Fugle at [email protected]. Tax Deductible Donations may be sent to:  P.O. Box 482, Ojai, CA 93024

The following tennis teaching pros donate their time to area youth by giving free or discounted tennis lessons to the Ojai and surrounding Ventura and Oxnard communities. The Ojai Valley Tennis Club wishes to thank them for their generous support of OVTC Youth Programs.

Mark Weil of the Weil Tennis Academy
Ph: 805 640 3413
428 Bryant Circle, Ojai

Steve Beckendorf, Tennis Director- Ojai Valley Athletic Club
Ph: 805 646 7213
[email protected]
409 South Fox Street, Ojai

Jim Kasser of the Ojai Valley Athletic Club
Ph: 805 646 7213
409 South Fox Street, Ojai

Katya Welborn, Tennis Director. City of Ojai
Ph: 805 798-3699
[email protected]
Lower Libbey Park, Ojai

Dimitar Yazadzhiev, Director of Tennis of the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa
Ph: 805 640 2109
[email protected]
Country Club Road, Ojai

Stacy Margolin Potter, M.A. Certified Health Coach & Co-owner of Trails by Potter
Ph: 805 551 5396
[email protected] 

Todd Dickey
ph: (805)640-4343 ex. 1805
English Teacher and Men’s Tennis Head Coach
[email protected]
Nordhoff High School, Ojai

Ron Edwards
Teacher and girls & boys tennis coach
Rio Mesa High School, Oxnard
[email protected]

Andy Hoerer
Teacher and girls & boys tennis coach
Hueneme School District, Hueneme