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Heather Boklund a force for the La Porte Parks Tennis Program

June 6, 2018 GMT

La PORTE — For Heather Boklund, her passion for tennis started when she was a student in the La Porte Parks Summer Tennis Program.

So it’s fitting that she’s now not only an instructor in the program, but she’s currently running the La Porte Parks Summer Tennis Program.

Heather’s father, William Boklund, signed her up for the program when she was 6. That began her love affair with the sport.

She went on to star on La Porte High School’s girls tennis team in the late 1990s.

Fast forward to today, and Heather Boklund is in charge of the La Porte Parks Summer Tennis Program.

She said it’s understandably rewarding to help with the program.

“I love it, I love working with the kids,” Heather Boklund said. “I’m a school teacher. A lot of my kids from school like to do it. I love to work with children. It’s fun to see them outside, and actually doing something other than video games.”

Heather is a teacher at Indian Trail Elementary School. She teaches Title 1 reading for Kindergarten through fifth-graders.

Boklund’s been involved with the La Porte Parks Summer Tennis Program for the last roughly 20 years.

This summer, however, she’s leading the program.

“She’s running the park and recreation program this year,” La Porte High School boys and girls tennis coach Don Varda said. “She’s just put in a tremendous amount of effort. She’s been with the Park Department for 20 years. She has completely devoted her life to tennis in La Porte County. I’m just so happy she’s running this park department program for the young kids in La Porte County. She was a standout player at La Porte High School. And she gives back to the community by running this tennis program, and really pouring her heart and soul into it.”

The La Porte Parks Summer Tennis Program just began on Tuesday and runs through July 19. There’s an awards party on the last day, July 19, where several fun activities are planned, like acknowledging all the participants, and a water balloon toss and catch.

It’s a summer tennis program for boys and girls, age 3 through adults.

Varda understands the significance of having this program serve as a feeder program for the Slicers’ high school teams.

“They’re even starting out as toddlers and young kids,” Varda said. “It’s tremendous for our program. Because she’s working closely with me. I’m actually going to work for her this summer, doing part of the camp. We’re working closely together, to not only keep tennis fun for kids, but to keep our own system at La Porte feeding the middle school and the high school with the best possible players we can have at La Porte.”

Boklund said the best part about helping with the program is to see the participants come back year after year and see them really enjoy it.

“A lot of kids return every year, and I’ll see the kids,” she said. “And they’re asking me to come to their tennis matches when they’re in high school. Or they’re like, ‘Hey coach, how are you doing?’ They come back and they’re smiling and running around and laughing. It’s just good to see them out and having fun.”

At the same time, Boklund added it’s gratifying to see them evolve into stalwart players.

“It’s awesome, it’s really cool,” Boklund said. “To see them grow as a player as a kid. We have so many good kids in the program and nice families. It’s really rewarding.”