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Arthur Ashe Essay Contest

Winners Receive Trip to N.Y. for Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day Presented by Hess at US Open

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., February 1, 2005 – The USTA/USA Tennis National Junior Tennis League (NJTL)announced the launch of the seventh annual Arthur Ashe Essay Contest, commemorating the legacy of humanitarian and tennis great Arthur Ashe. The essay contest is open to USTA/NJTL participants across the nation and British Columbia. Winners will receive an all-expense paid trip to New York as guests at Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day presented by Hess on Saturday, August 27, preceding the start of the 2005 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 D.A. Abrams, Director, Outreach, USTA. “We honor his legacy through this annual essay contest.”

To enter, USTA/NJTL participants, 18 or younger, must write an essay in 300 words or less on “Why is Arthur Ashe a legend?” and submit their essay and entry form to their local USA Tennis NJTL chapter or program on 8 ½” x 11” paper. All entries must be received at the USTA national office from the NJTL chapters and programs by July 11. Winners will be notified by July 29. 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.

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 765 Chapters and Programs and more than 258,000 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.