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USTA Honors Three Chapters Nationwide as USTA National Juniors Tennis League Chapters of the Year

February 1, 2008 11:18 AM

The USTA today announced that three National Junior Tennis League (NJTL) Chapters nationwide have been awarded with the 2007 USTA/NJTL Chapter of the Year Award. The USTA recognizes chapters and programs at three different budget levels to reward those facilities that are able to do more with less.

The 2007 USTA/NJTL Chapters of the Year and their corresponding budget levels are: The Dallas Tennis Association ($500k and over); NJTL of Trenton, Inc. ($50k-500k); and the Rising Stars of Kentucky (under $50k).

Arthur Ashe, along with Charlie Pasarell, and Sheridan Snyder founded the NJTL in 1969. Ashe envisioned NJTL “as a way to gain and hold the attention of young people in the inner cities and their poor environments so that we can teach them about matters more important than tennis.” Since then, NJTL has grown to over 500 chapters serving over 200,000 youth each year, making it one of the USTA’s largest community-based offerings.

“We are proud of the work being done by these NJTL chapters,” said Kurt Kamperman, Chief Executive, Community Tennis, USTA. “These are outstanding examples of how NJTL continues to make a difference in the lives of today’s youth.”

The programs will be formally recognized at an awards banquet, held during the USTA’s annual Community Tennis Development Workshop held on February 23, 2008 at the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas, Nev.

Here’s a brief look at the three honorees for 2007:

The Dallas Tennis Association – The Dallas Tennis Association is a non-profit volunteer-based community tennis organization serving more than 3,000 youngsters annually. For over 30 years its mission has been to promote tennis by providing education, programs and events for everyone to enjoy tennis as a lifetime sport. Under the direction of NJTL Leader Bert Cole, the DTA aims to improve the life of families within the community. Parents don’t simply drop off their kids; they often stay and work with them on the courts to help create a sense of ownership for the parents. The DTA also had success off the court this past summer when they partnered with the Scottish Rites Hospital and had terminally ill children rolled around the courts by their members. This sort of responsibility is also being taught in the classrooms. Students learn leadership skills, sportsmanship, giving back to the community, and being part of a team. The DTA can proudly boast that so far, 100% of the seniors graduating from its college-preparation program each year have all attended college.

NJTL of Trenton, Inc. – NJTL has faithfully served the City of Trenton and surrounding communities for more than 30 years, fulfilling their mission of “creating opportunities through education, nutrition and tennis.” NJTL’s programming includes 40 instructors, 20 different sites, and 1,200 youngsters. In 1990, the NJTL started the Tennis-and-Enrichment tennis instruction and tutoring program which has expanded to include strong academic support in pre-algebra, science, and technology. This past year they worked with Princeton University to use the school’s tennis facilities and help improve academic performance, reduce drop-out levels, promote exercise, and to create on-court instruction. The off-site locations offer a change in venue with additional mentoring and interaction with collegiate tennis players. Under the leadership of Executive Director Dan Faber, NJTL of Trenton works hard to develop community partnerships realizing that collaborative efforts bring many resources, common goals, and funding to the forefront to benefit the community.

Rising Stars of Kentucky – The focus of Rising Stars of Kentucky is to target at-risk youths in the Louisville area, as well as those in low to middle income families who cannot afford tennis lessons on a consistent basis. There are currently 65 registered students that meet weekly for 90-minutes of tennis and life skill coaching. With the help of Judge Joan “Toni” Stringer, Rising Stars offers a yearly program called Choices which helps youngsters understand the positive and negative consequences of lifestyles choices. Under the leaderships of Jack Barton, Rising Stars has seen students take seriously the values and commitment in the projects they support.




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