The United States Tennis Association joined First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! London initiative at the US Ambassador’s residence, in London’s Regent’s Park Friday. In the spirit of the Olympics, more than 1,000 American military children and American and British students came together on the day of the Opening Ceremony to play tennis, meet with current and former athletes and Olympians, and enjoy live performances by the pop band, “The Wanted.”
Let’s Move! London hosted sports stations, performances and an opportunity for kids to meet Olympic and Paralympic legends including, the members of the U.S. delegation, David Beckham, Bart Conner, Nadia Comaneci, Teresa Edwards, Emily Hughes, Sarah Hughes, Shawn Johnson, Dikembe Mutombo, Apolo Ohno, Aaron Piersol, and Dara Torres.
“Tennis is a model sport that allows young people of all ages to get more active, which sets the foundation for our youth to lead healthier and happier lifestyles,” said Jon Vegosen, USTA Chairman of the Board and President. “We see “Let’s Move!” as one of the most important child-related initiatives ever developed, and all of us at the USTA are proud to play a part in it and are committed to its continued success, which is why we have made the sport easier for kids to enjoy by introducing smaller lighter racquets, lower bouncing balls, smaller courts.”
The USTA’s 10 and Under Tennis program follows the same logic as other youth sports and operates on kid-sized courts with kid-sized equipment. 10 and Under Tennis provides an opportunity for kids learn to play tennis in a manageable and enriching environment by functioning in a modified format where balls bounce lower, don’t move as fast through the air and are easier to hit. Tennis racquets are sized for small hands and courts are smaller and easier to cover.
The 10 and Under Tennis program encourages kids to lead an active lifestyle and maintain a healthy outlook. Parents can get their children involved by visiting youthtennis.com, to find tennis partners, programs and nearby courts, in addition to a variety of other helpful resources.
The USTA is the national governing body for the sport of tennis in the U.S. and the leader in promoting and developing the growth of tennis at every level – from local communities to the highest level of the professional game. A not-for-profit organization with more than 785,000 members, it invests 100% of its proceeds in growing the game. It owns and operates the US Open, the highest attended annual sporting event in the world, and launched the Emirates Airline US Open Series linking 10 summer tournaments to the US Open. In addition, it owns approximately 90 Pro Circuit events throughout the U.S, and selects the teams for the Davis Cup, Fed Cup, Olympic and Paralympic Games. The USTA philanthropic entity, USTA Serves, provides grants and scholarships and helps underserved youth and people with disabilities.
In this first year, the USTA will reach, serve, and support the military with direct services impacting over 100,000 service members and their families. The volunteer effort includes over 1100 Community Tennis Associations, NJTL chapters, Tennis Welcome Centers, and tennis organizations around the country. The USTA will achieve these goals through programs like USTA Serves Adopt-A-Unit, participation in Yellow Ribbon and Welcome Home events, Wounded Warrior tennis trainings and programs through Military medical hospitals, and through partnerships with other organizations like the National Recreation Foundation, USO, Freedom Alliance, Blue Star Mothers and more.
Source: United States Tennis Association