FILA and USTA Foundation collaborate to launch Spirit of Tennis scholarships

Robin Montgomery, the 2021 US Open junior champion who honed her game at the USTA Foundation NJTL chapter JTCC in College Park, Md. and as a member of the Excellence Program, wears FILA on the match court.
April 12, 2022 11:00 AM

Together with sportswear apparel company FILA, the USTA Foundation is proud to announce the launch of the Spirit of Tennis scholarships in support of its student-athletes in the National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL) network. 

Two Spirit of Tennis scholarships have been created to provide access and opportunity to students through the NJTL network and are named in honor of the two individuals who helped FILA establish its roots in tennis: Jonathan G. Epstein, the former president of FILA North America, and Martin Mulligan Sr., the current global tennis marketing executive at FILA. In addition to two new annual scholarships, FILA has pledged additional funds to support the USTA Foundation’s Excellence Program through a dedicated player grant and additional product offerings for the NJTL program.

Through these initiatives, FILA will contribute $180,000 over the course of four years.

“FILA is proud to support the USTA Foundation and continue our support of the National Junior Tennis and Learning Network (NJTL),” said Jennifer Estabrook, president of FILA North America. “The Foundation’s commitment to enabling greater access and opportunity for students across the US is a vision we share, and we are thrilled to name these scholarships in honor of two of FILA’s greatest advocates of the sport.”

The Spirit of Tennis scholarships will be awarded on an annual basis to two high-achieving high school seniors, bound for a four-year college or university, who excel academically and demonstrate good character, community leadership and sportsmanship both on and off the court. Each recipient will receive $15,000 over the course of four years to cover costs of tuition, school-based expenses and educational materials. With FILA's support, the USTA Foundation will award these scholarships annually through 2026.

An additional $15,000 annually from FILA over the course of four years will support individuals in the NJTL Excellence Program via tennis lessons, tournament entry fees and FILA product to provide opportunities for youth who may not otherwise have the financial means to advance in the sport. 

“The USTA Foundation is grateful to have FILA, an outstanding mission-driven supporter which contributions will help us continue to empower under-resourced youth through the powerful combination of tennis and education,” said Dan Faber, chief executive of the USTA Foundation. “The Spirit of Tennis scholarships will have a great impact in the future of our NJTL youth and we look forward to seeing all the great things these young leaders will accomplish on and off the court.”

The Jonathan G. Epstein Spirit of Tennis Scholarship is named in memory of  Jonathan G. Epstein, former president of FILA North America and industry leader whose passion for tennis left an indelible mark on the sport and the brand. Epstein’s entrepreneurial spirit and vision led FILA to significant business successes and prominence as a leader in the athletic apparel and footwear industry. The Martin Mulligan Sr. Spirit of Tennis Scholarship is named in honor of Martin Mulligan Sr., a former Top 10 professional tennis player with 72 career titles who reached the Wimbledon final in 1962. At the end of his playing career, Mulligan transitioned to become the Italian Davis Cup captain before he began his career at FILA. Mulligan also received the Golden Racquet award from the Italian Tennis Federation for his contributions to tennis, the first non-Italian to receive the honor.

FILA has a long and distinguished history in the world of tennis that includes endorsements of ATP and WTA Tour athletes, tennis tournaments and organizations. FILA is a sponsor of the BNP Paribas Open, the Infosys Hall of Fame Open, National Bank Open & Omnium Banque Nationale, the Western & Southern Open, the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, the Argentina Open, the Cordoba Open, the Rio Open, the Rakuten Japan Open, the China Open and the Junior Orange Bowl International Tennis Championship. In addition to event partnerships, FILA is an official supplier to Tennis Canada, the Argentine Tennis Association (AAT), Junior Tennis Champions Center (JTCC), Van der Meer Tennis and John Newcombe Tennis Ranch.



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