With more popular pastimes such as soccer and football taking the bulk of children’s attention, tennis can get overlooked. However, tennis possesses many opportunities for physical and mental growth s in children. These advantages include improving gross motor, fine motor, and hand-eye coordination as well as speed, flexibility, and agility. For parents and children unfamiliar with the sport, a way to ease them into it and see if they want to continue with it is to participate in the USTA’s annual sponsored event – Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day.
Who is Arthur Ashe?
Arthur Ashe was an American professional tennis player who won three Grand Slam titles over the course of his playing career. He was the first African-American player selected to the United States Davis Cup team and the only African-American man to ever win the singles title at Wimbledon, the US Open, and the Australian Open.
After an illustrative and successful career, he retired in 1980. Throughout the duration of his life, he was a staunch supporter of children attaining an education. He advocated for children to pursue an education because he felt that while sports were useful for teaching life skills and character, very few people possessed the necessary tools to become professional athletes. For more information on his life story, visit the Arthur Ashe Learning Center.
What is Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day?
Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day is a celebration of the memory of Arthur Ashe, who died of AIDS in 1993, which is also when the first Kids’ Day was promoted. After a three-year break, the festivities resumed on August 23rd, 1997. The annual event is held at the end of August at the United States Tennis Association (USTA) Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, Queens, New York.
The money raised from this event benefits the USTA Foundation, which helps fund the National Junior Tennis and Learning Network. The NJTL is a nationwide group of more than 500 nonprofit youth-development organizations that provide access to tennis, education and life-skills education at free or low-cost to participants. More than 225,000 children partake in the programming each year.
Tennis greats that have previously appeared at Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day include Venus and Serena Williams, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Andy Roddick, and many other exemplary professionals of the sport. Additional performers that have made an appearance include Britney Spears, Justin Bieber, Rihanna, the Jonas Brothers, and up and coming performers.
Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day 2017
This year’s Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day takes place on Saturday, August 26th, which is the Saturday before the kickoff of the US Open. This free of cost festival offers interactive games, music and tennis activities for the entire family to engage in. Kids will also have an opportunity to try their hand at a few competitive games for the chance to win prizes. For more information on the day’s participating guests, the line-up check here.
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