USTA SERVES $15K TO WASHINGTON TENNIS & EDUCATION FOUNDATION, $5K TO D.C. SPECIAL OLYMPICS
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., July 1, 2013 – USTA Serves, the philanthropic and charitable entity of the United States Tennis Association (USTA), announced it has awarded the the Washington Tennis & Education Foundation (WTEF) of Washington D.C. a $15,000 grant and the Special Olympics District of Columbia of Washington, D.C. a $5,000 grant. During its 2013 spring funding cycle, USTA Serves granted 38 community tennis organizations and other foundations more than $324,723 in grants.
“USTA Serves is delighted to award these deserving tennis programs for their commitment to positively-enriching the lives of the youth in their communities through tennis and education,” said Dan Faber, USTA Serves Executive Director. “Education is key to fostering growth and success in life, while a healthy lifestyle is a key ingredient to longevity. And with these programs providing the necessary tools and tennis lessons for youth all over the country to achieve that notion, I’m glad that we are able to honor them as they work to positively impact this and other generations to come.”
The purpose of the WTEF is to improve the life prospects of D.C. youth, particularly those from disadvantaged communities, through tennis, academic and community-building activities that teach discipline, build confidence, and improve academic performance. The USTA Serves grant will assist the WTEF’s Arthur Ashe Children’s Program, the Center for Excellence, and Community Outreach programs. The WTEF will continue to provide daily intensive tennis, academics and life skills throughout this entire school year and for six weeks during the summer to nearly 1,500 students across DC. For more information, please visit http://www.wtef.org.
Special Olympics District of Columbia provides year-round sports training and competition for individuals with intellectual disabilities as well as inclusive programming through Unified Sports. Unified Tennis Match-Up is a program which will bring together at-risk urban high school students with intellectual disabilities (Special Olympics athletes) and those without disabilities (Unified partners) for the purposes of achieving social inclusion, creating environments of respect and empowerment, and developing life skills through the vehicle of tennis. The USTA Serves grant will support the Unified Tennis Match-Up Program, which supports 105 high school students ages 14-18. For more information, please visit http://www.specialolympicsdc.org.
The grant recipients are chosen by a Grant Proposal Review Committee comprised of USTA Serves board members and USTA national staff, with important input from USTA sections. Grants are awarded to programs that successfully combine tennis and education and help children pursue their goals and highest dreams by leading healthier lives, succeeding in school and becoming healthier citizens. To date, USTA Serves has awarded more than $11 million to a variety of programs that support its mission.
The bi-annual grant process, a national initiative of USTA Serves, was established to award organizations that provide disadvantaged, at-risk children with the opportunity to learn to play tennis and improve their academic skills in a structured format. These programs also strive to help combat childhood obesity by promoting healthy lifestyles.
—D. Gordon, USTA