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NJTL Regional Tennis Leadership Camp
Junior tennis players from seven different states across the South traveled to Birmingham, Alabama for the first ever National Junior Tennis League (NJTL) Regional Tennis Leadership Camp. The camp was held from Thursday, June 5th through Sunday, June 8th and sixteen campers, ranging in age from 11 to 15, stayed at the University of Alabama – Birmingham’s Blazer Hall dormitory.

During the weekend the campers participated in tennis drills and match play at Samford University and took several field trips to local attractions, including the Birmingham Civil Rights Museum, the McWane Science Center and Regions Field for a Triple A Birmingham Barons Baseball game. Other educational activities included team building exercises and the 2008 Juneteenth Cultural Fest at historic Kelly Ingram Park. Several motivational speakers also came by to talk with the campers about leadership and responsibility, including Renee Kemp-Rotan, Director of Capital Projects for the City of Birmingham and Michael Patterson, Vice President - Legal Department at Blue Cross & Blue Shield.

Rudy Lewis, one of the counselors for the camp said, "We really believe that all the juniors that participated in our camp got a lot out of the overall experience and it also allowed them some unique experiences that may have added value to their lives."
The Regional NJTL Tennis Leadership Camp is a result of the continued success of the National NJTL Tennis Leadership camp, created in 1984. These camps are designed to provide an educational and motivational tennis experience for NJTL participants who could not afford such an opportunity.

Arthur Ashe Essay Contest

The 2007 USTA Arthur Ashe Essay Contest was a huge hit in the Southern Section!  There were 10 National winners from different USTA Sections across the country and three of them were from Southern (most of ALL Sections!):

Kentucky –– Christine Crawford – Rising Stars of Kentucky (Louisville, KY)
South Carolina –– Onyemachi Provost – Mach Academy, Inc (Aiken, SC)
Tennessee –– Julia Schifani – Tennis Memphis (Memphis, TN)

Once again this year, the Southern Tennis Patrons Foundation, the USTA Southern National Junior Tennis League sub-committee, and eight USTA Southern State Associations rewarded eight juniors from our Section with a prize for participation and outstanding essays in the Arthur Ashe Essay Contest.  Eight winners (one from each participating state) received an all expense paid trip to New York City for Arthur Ashe Kids Day and Opening Day at the US Open Tournament.  Experience the event (held August 24th-28th) through the eyes and minds of the winners!  Read on to view their daily logs (a few parents wrote something too!) and pictures from the trip.

Click here to view a slideshow from the 2007 USTA Southern Arthur Ashe Kid's Day trip!


Player Logs
Alabama – Jade Stewart - Birmingham Area Tennis, LETT Program
Georgia – E’Lysia Ortiz - MACH Academy (Augusta, GA)
Kentucky – Dejan Tomanic - Rising Stars of Kentucky (Louisville, KY)
Louisiana – Ben Simpson - NJTL of Baton Rouge
Mississippi – Darin Yates - Four Aces NJTL (Greenville, MS)
North Carolina Olivia Maina - NJTL of Raleigh
South Carolina – Ebony Fields - NJTL of Charleston, Courting Kids
Tennessee – Jared Woodson - Highland Rim NJTL (Nashville, TN)

Parent Logs
Joan Muhuthia - Olivia's Mom
Candace Woodson - Jared's Mom

What is the NJTL?

The USTA/National Junior Tennis League (NJTL) is a nation-wide network of community tennis organizations seeking to develop the character of young people through tennis and education.  Founded in 1969 by Arthur Ashe, Charlie Pasarell, and Sheridan Snyder, this growing network of tennis providers share similar values, ideals, and goals by:

*reaching out to those who may not otherwise have the opportunity to play the sport
instilling in youngsters the values of leadership and academic excellence
giving all kids (regardless of income, race, gender) the opportunity to fully develop their tennis skills so they can derive a life time of enjoyment from the sport

The NJTL is a great way for kids to get exercise, make friends, and have fun in a team-oriented and safe environment.  NJTLs offer a variety of on and off-court programming, emphasizing educational and life-skill components to enhance overall development.  This curriculum is offered at little or no cost to the participant.  Many of the costs associated with running a program are decentralized by in-kind and monetary support from the USTA, allowing for local chapters/programs to provide high-quality programming for their constituents.  With over 520 registered chapters/programs throughout the nation and 200,000 participants aged 6 – 18, chances are there is a program in your community.

The NJTL offers many exciting opportunities and benefits:

For NJTL Participants

·  Arthur Ashe Essay Contest - an educational component created to showcase the program's commitment to the legacy and ideals of Arthur Ashe

·  Camp Scholarships - financial assistance for tennis players who are 13 years old and under and exemplify strong values and personal charact

· Program Grants - funding to start or expand a National Junior Tennis League Chapter or Program


· Tennis Leadership Camp - an educational and motivational tennis experience for program participants who could not normally afford such an opportunity.

For NJTL Chapters and Programs

·  Community Tennis Development Workshop Scholarships - financial assistance for coordinators of NJTL chapters and programs to attend the annual CTDW workshop (location varies)

  NJTL of the Year Award - a sectional and national award designed to recognize outstanding programs for their continued excellence in youth tennis programming.

·  Regional Rallies - designed to bring together neighboring chapters and programs for team oriented, fun-filled tennis activities and competition.

·  Recreational Coach Workshops (RCWs) - on court training program designed for tennis teachers and coaches working with players at the recreational level

·  Capacity Building Program- guidance for mid-size NJTL chapters/programs seeking to expand their impact and reach into the community. Chapters/Programs are selected at the end of each year through a competitive application process.

·  The Ford Foundation "Community Building Through Tennis" Initiative
Through the work of its National Junior Tennis League (NJTL), the USTA received a $400,000 grant from The Ford Foundation, which will be administered through the USTA Tennis and Education Foundation. The combined resources of nearly $1,000,000 will fund an 12 month pilot project called "Community Building through Tennis." The initiative seeks to bring people together from diverse backgrounds in changing neighborhoods in ways that will enhance education, communication, economic opportunity and neighborhood stability.

· The four pilot NJTL chapters are:
- Arthur Ashe Youth Tennis and Education; Philadelphia, PA
- Malivai Washington Kids Foundation; Jacksonville, FL
- Milwaukee Tennis & Education Foundation; Milwaukee, WI
- Tenacity, Inc; Boston, MA

The newest site added is:
- Tennis Memphis; Memphis, TN

· After-School Intermediary Partnerships
In a strategy that developed in late 2006, the USTA forged partnerships with two leading after-school intermediary organizations to enhance local partnerships that support and sustain the growth of the NJTL network. The partnerships rely on NJTL chapters to provide programming at middle and elementary schools city or county-wide where there are strong intermediary organizations and strong NJTL chapters already in place. The USTA brings valuable resources to the partnership including quality providers with capacity to reach a number of schools city-wide, technical assistance, training, discounted equipment, and in some cases, temporary cash investments.

To find NJTL Chapters/Programs near you, please visit Locate a NJTL
To register a new NJTL Chapter/Program online or to download and print a registration form, please visit Register a NJTL

Read the USTA Southern Section's Multicultural Participation Message here.

To contact your state NJTL coordinator, see list below:





Philip Wiley



Ann Boudreaux



Mary Dillon



Bruce Stone



Diana Beauregard



Russell Dendy


North Carolina

Daniel Abrahao


South Carolina

Graham Cox



Cathy Harris


To contact the Southern Section NJTL coordinator, call 770-368-8200 or email Yasmine Osborn at Osborn@sta.usta.com



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