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USTA/NJTL Launches Arthur Ashe Essay Contest as Kick-off to Black History Month

February 17, 2004 09:37 AM

The USTA/National Junior Tennis League (USA Tennis NJTL) announced today the launch of its 6th annual Arthur Ashe Essay Contest to help commemorate the legacy of humanitarian and tennis great Arthur Ashe, 11 years after his passing on February 6, 1993. For the second consecutive year, the essay contest, previously open only to USTA/NJTL participants, welcomes entries from all school children across the nation.

Winners will receive an all-expense paid trip to New York from August 27-29, 2004 and will be guests at Arthur Ashe Kids' Day presented by Hess on Saturday, August 21, preceding the 2004 US Open. Arthur Ashe Kids' Day is a daylong festival of kids' tennis activities - including interactive games, musical entertainment and free clinics.

Ashe was one of tennis' greatest ambassadors both on and off the court. He was the first African-American man to win the US Open in 1968 and went on to win 33 titles in his career including the Australian Open in 1970. Off the court, Ashe worked tirelessly to eliminate racism and poverty around the world, especially in segregated South Africa. He also devoted countless time and effort to creating tennis opportunities for youngsters from all backgrounds.

"Arthur Ashe lived an exemplary life, donating his time to underprivileged youth and growth of the game," said Barbara Wynne of Indianapolis, NJTL Committee Honorary Chair and originator of the Arthur Ashe essay contest. "We are thrilled to honor Arthur's achievements and contributions to both tennis and disadvantaged youth through this national essay contest."

To enter, children, 18 or younger, must write an essay in 300 words or less on "Why is Arthur Ashe a legend?" All entries must be received at the *USTA on 8 ½" x 11" paper by July 10, 2004. Winners will be notified by July 30, 2004. Ten national winners will be selected, one boy and one girl from each of the five age groups, and awarded round trip coach air transportation to New York for themselves and a parent/legal guardian and two nights at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Manhattan.

A printable version of the official entry form is available here (Adobe Acrobat Reader required for download).

The USTA/NJTL, also known as USA Tennis NJTL, was established in 1969 by Ashe, Charlie Pasarell and Sheridan Snyder to use tennis as a means of developing the character of young people who may not otherwise have the opportunity to learn and play the sport. Since 1985, it has been owned and supported by the USTA as one of its primary outreach programs to multicultural communities. With over 1000 Chapters and Programs and over 200,000 participants, the USA Tennis NJTL instills in youngsters the values of humanitarianism, leadership, and academic excellence, and gives youngsters the opportunity to fully develop their tennis skills for a lifetime of enjoyment from the sport.

More USTA Black History Month information can be found here.




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