'A milestone in the history of NJTL': USTA Foundation celebrates 50 years of historic program

NJTL chapters and guests celebrate the NJTL's 50th Anniversary at a lunch at the Yale Club
September 1, 2019 01:00 PM

A half-century of the National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL) network was celebrated on Saturday in New York City.

Visionaries Arthur Ashe, Charlie Pasarell and Sheridan Snyder founded NJTL in 1969 with the intention of, and the program was celebrated for its milestone anniversary in a reception, the "50 Years of NJTL Luncheon presented by GEICO," at the famed Yale Club in midtown Manhattan.

Over the past 50 years, the NJTL network has grown to over 250 nonprofit youth development organizations that offer free or low-cost tennis and education programming to over 160,000 under-resourced youth each year.

"The impact of the vision of our founders continues to strengthen communities and change the lives of hundreds of thousands of youth nationwide today." said Dan Faber, Executive Director, USTA Foundation.

"From three original chapters to nearly 300 today, the lifetime benefits of tennis and education are immeasurable."

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Ray Benton, who served as the first national Executive Director of NJTL, shared the history and origins of the program's early years to over 100 current NJTL leaders from across the country who gathered at the event, and credited Snyder with the development of the curriculum.

Benton now oversees the GEICO Game On! program at the famed Junior Tennis Champions Center (JTCC) in Washington, D.C., and said he remains as passionate about NJTL as he was in the beginning.

"Our results speak for themselves with the emergence of Frances Tiafoe, who was a GEICO Game On! participant, and the promise of Robin Montgomery, who is currently in our program and ranked in the top 100 nationwide at the age of 14," said Benton.

"There is no better preparation on the court and with academic support than is offered by NJTLs nationwide."

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"Everyone in attendance played an important role in the success of the past 50 years. Your support and work is truly appreciated and critical for the future," continued Faber.

"Thanks to GEICO, our presenting sponsor for the Luncheon, for generously underwriting this historic Luncheon which represents a milestone in the history of NJTL and a stepping stone to our future.

"We cannot overstate our thanks to you for your compassion and commitment to our mission to change the lives of youth through our NJTL programs."

 

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