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Tennessee, Kentucky Youth Win Arthur Ashe Essay Contest

August 26, 2009 06:08 PM

The USTA today announced the 10 winners of the 11th annual USTA/NJTL Arthur Ashe Essay Contest, two of which are from USTA Southern. 

Sherita Bell, Girls’s 12s, of Tennis Memphis NJTL, Memphis, Tenn. and Christian McKnight, Boys’ 18s, of the Rising Stars of Kentucky, Louisville, were among the national winners.

Finalists were:
Eric Tauton, Boys’ 12s, Learning Excellence Through Tennis, Birmingham, Ala.
Kandler Rhodes, Girls’ 14s, First Serve Tennis Academy, Atlanta
Keegan Rhines, Boys’ 14s, Rising Stars of Kentucky, Louisville
Jasmine Giles, Girls’ 16s, Four Aces Racquet Club, Greenville, Miss.
Kathleen Gicovi, Girls’ 14s, NJTL of Raleigh, N.C.
Shelby Studebaker, Girls’ 14s, Courting Kids NJTL, Charleston, S.C.
Shaundrica Carter, Girls’ 18s, Tennis Memphis, Tenn.

The 10 national winners, ranging in ages from 10 to 18, will receive a travel package from August 28-August 30 that includes:  round-trip coach airfare to New York City for themselves and a parent/legal guardian; two nights lodging at the Grand Hyatt 42nd Street; an honorary plaque; an Awards Luncheon hosted by Mayor Dinkins; a Duck Tour of New York City; tickets to Broadway’s “Disney’s the Little Mermaid,” and President’s Box tickets to 2009 Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day presented by Hess on August 29 at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day is the official kick-off for the 2009 US Open that runs August 31 - September 13.

Southern Finalists Also Win Trip
The seven Southern finalists also won a trip to NYC, sponsored by the USTA Southern NJTL committee, the Southern Tennis Patrons Foundation and participating States with the Southern Section. These winners received an all-expense paid trip to NYC for Arthur Ashe Kids Day, a water tour of NYC on the Circle Line Cruise, a land tour of NYC on a double decker bus, and will attend the US Open on Monday. 
To enter, children, 18 or younger, had to write what the Arthur Ashe quote “From what we get, we make a living; what we give, however, makes a life,” means to them in 300 words or less  A USTA sub-committee selected the winning essays based on knowledge of Arthur Ashe, message clarity, and writing style.
Presented by Hess and produced by the USTA, Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day honors tennis legend Arthur Ashe and continues his mission of using tennis as a means to instill in kids the values of humanitarianism, leadership and academic excellence.  A portion of the proceeds from Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day benefits the USTA NJTL (National Junior Tennis and Learning).  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.”  Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, the NJTL has grown to over 550 chapters serving over 220,000 youth each year, making it one of the USTA’s largest community-based offerings.  It is a delivery system for the USTA’s programs, giving youth an opportunity to play tennis while also providing a safe haven, adult role models and tennis instruction.

For more information on NJTL, click here




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