USTA Foundation awarded $150,000 grant by ESPN

September 22, 2015 08:56 AM

By Ashley Marshall,

Young tennis players attending National Junior Tennis and Learning programs across the country will benefit from a six-figure grant awarded to the USTA Foundation by ESPN.

The network, which has televised the US Open since 2009 and became the primary American broadcast partner this summer, donated $150,000 to the Foundation, the national charitable arm of the USTA.

The grant funding will support seven NJTL network chapters that are part of the newly established the Capacity Building Program, an initiative designed to provide long-term assistance for chapters that are committed to increasing the impact their program has on youngsters.

“As a former NJTL student, many of the important lessons my program taught me were not just on the tennis court, but off,” said former world No. 4 and current USTA Foundation chairman James Blake. “Being taught the importance of sportsmanship, developing necessary life skills, while being reminded to never lose sight of the importance of an education, was key to my personal growth as a youth.

"Those lessons stuck with me throughout my career as a pro player, and I’m glad that ESPN’s generosity to these programs will continue to award opportunities to other NJTL students.”

The following NJTL programs will each receive a Capacity Building Program grant on behalf of ESPN:

  • A's & Aces, New Orleans, LA
  • New HYTEs- New Haven Youth Tennis and Education, New Haven, CT
  • Down the Line and Beyond Foundation, Villanova, PA
  • Dallas Tennis Association, Dallas, TX
  • InnerCity Tennis, Minneapolis, MN
  • Sloane Stephens Foundation, Compton, CA
  • Youth and Tennis Academy, Jamaica (Queens), NY

Earlier this year, the USTA Foundation established the “Dream Campaign,” with a goal to raise $15 million over the next three years to serve thousands of kids and support the Capacity Building Program. With this grant, ESPN is the first corporation to serve on the Foundation’s Dream Campaign as a Foundation Patron.

“The USTA Foundation is honored to work with ESPN to support these deserving NJTL chapters for their commitment to operating high-performing tennis and education programs,” said USTA Foundation Executive Director Dan Faber. “We are extremely grateful to ESPN for this grant, which will provide the necessary tools for the Capacity Building Program to continue to prosper. This collaboration is evidence that they believe in the lasting impact that tennis and education can have on thousands of youth in local communities around the country.”
Added ESPN vice president of corporate citizenship Kevin Martinez: “We are proud to join USTA Foundation in this collaboration, which further establishes ESPN’s commitment to improving access to sport in underserved communities. Together with the USTA Foundation, we are ensuring that local NJTL chapters have the needed resources to grow their capacity and scale to serve more kids who want to play tennis.”
The USTA Foundation provides opportunities for under-resourced youth, individuals with disabilities, and wounded, ill and injured service members, veterans and their families. The Foundation supports programs nationwide that leverage tennis and education to help those in need and has awarded more than $19 million in grants and scholarships to hundreds of programs nationwide. 



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