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Arthur Ashe Kids Day

Class Recap: Week 17 & Lots of Photos

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Class Recap: Week 17 & Lots of Photos

We had a great class this past Saturday! It was beautiful weather and the kids were excited to be back on the courts after a week off. We practiced rallying and brought forehand volleying into their toolkit. Many of the kids picked up the volley "punch" easily. A few kids were a little intimidated being at the net--something I completely sympathize with! Hopefully after a few more lessons, they'll feel more comfortable being aggressive at the net.

Mark your calendars, the end of season community jamboree and youth tennis tournaments will be September 28th. (Rain date: October 5th.) All four sites will come together at Marcy Playground to compete in a 10 & over and 9 & under tennis tournament.

Lots of new photos have been added to the Facebook page! Like our page and check them out! Photos by Sam Hasan II. Click an image below to view the full album.

Davis Cup #2 daviscup1

4th Annual Fundraiser fundraiser

Arthur Ashe Kids Day aakd

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Pro Tennis: Arthur Ashe

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Pro Tennis: Arthur Ashe

Last Saturday, KCTL took it's players, volunteers and parents to the US Open's Arthur Ashe Kids Day at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, NY. It's a great day for the kids to watch the professionals practice (there were Nadal, Federer and Djokovic sightings!), get on to the courts for tennis games, and watch live musical performances. But it's also a day to talk about Arthur Ashe and his legacy on and off the court. arthurashe

Arthur Ashe (1943-1993) was the first, and is still the only, African American male to win the US Open (1968) and Wimbledon (1975). He also won the Australian Open in 1970, and made it to the quarterfinals at the French Open in 1970 and 1971. As a doubles player, he won the Australian Open (1977) and French Open (1971). He also made the finals in Wimbledon (1971) and the US Open (1968).

After Ashe retired in 1980 after heart surgery, he became an author, a civil rights activist, chairman of the American Heart Association, a commentator for ABC Sports, captain of the U.S. Davis Cup team, and founder of the National Junior Tennis League (that KCTL is a part of.)

In 1983, with Harry Belafonte, Ashe founded the Artists and Athletes Against Apartheid. From the Arthur Ashe Learning Center website, "His commitment and efforts toward this cause were such that when Nelson Mandela, a political prisoner of the South African government for 27 years, was first set free and was asked whom in the U.S. he wished to have visit, he said, 'How about Arthur Ashe?'"

Arthur Ashe died in 1993 from AIDS-related pneumonia. He and his doctors believed he contracted the virus during his second open-heart surgery through blood transfusions. A year before his death, he went public with his illness. Ashe also founded the Arthur Ashe Foundation for the Defeat of AIDS and Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health.

In 1979, he was inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame. In 1983, he was inducted into the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Hall of Fame. In 1985, he was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame. In 1986, Ashe won a sports Emmy.

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After his death, President Clinton posthumously awarded Ashe the Presidential Medal of Freedom. And in 1993, he received the Award for Greatest Public Service Benefiting the Disadvantaged. The main stadium at the US Open, the Health and Wellness Center at his alma mater at UCLA, and an ESPN ESPY award are all named in his honor. In 2005, the USPS released a commemorative Arthur Ashe postal stamp.

To learn more about Arthur Ashe:

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Arthur Ashe Kids Day 2012

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Arthur Ashe Kids Day 2012

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On Saturday, we piled kids, parents and volunteers onto two school buses and took them to the Billie Jean National Tennis Center in Flushing, NY for Arthur Ashe Kids Day! The National Tennis Center was abuzz with thousands of kids and adults. It was great to see so many tennis enthusiasts in one place!

It was a really great day where the kids got to run a variety of drills on the courts, play fun games like Speedzone: How Fast is Your Serve?, and watch the pro tennis players practice--there was even a Roger Federer sighting! Activities were split up by age, so everyone got to do a little something. I was very impressed not only by how well-behaved all the students were amid the 'chaos' but also by their tennis skills! I saw a Marcy student hit a 65 mph serve! Several of them rallied against the pros as if they had been playing since they were born. It was a proud day for KCTL. Later in the afternoon, some of the students entered Arthur Ashe Stadium and enjoyed musical performances from Carly Rae Jepsen and The Wanted.

It was an inspiring day where the kids got to experience both the history and potential future of the sport of tennis. view all the photos from KCTL's trip to Arthur Ashe Kids Day, visit out Facebook page.

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