The National Junior Tennis League will be re-branded as the National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL) network, the USTA announced. With the new name and logo, the 40-year-old network of community tennis associations will continue its mission of developing the character of young people through tennis and education.
The re-brand will heighten awareness of NJTL initiatives and will also broaden the public’s understanding of the mission to instill in youngsters the values exemplified by Arthur Ashe throughout his life – humanitarianism, leadership, and academic excellence.
Founders Arthur Ashe, Charlie Pasarell and Sheridan Snyder established NJTL in 1969. Since then, the NJTL network has grown to include over 550 chapters which serve over 220,000 youth annually. NJTL chapters, which vary in size and scope, can be found in 46 of the top 50 U.S. markets, making NJTL one of the USTA’s largest community-based initiatives. NJTL chapters are supported by the USTA through grants, awards, and various learning opportunities. NJTL participants have the opportunity to take part in a number of core programs, including the Tennis and Leadership Camp, the Arthur Ashe Essay and Art Contest, Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day, Regional Rallies, a scholarship to the annual USTA Community Tennis Development Workshop, and low-cost insurance.
NJTLs are charged with providing free or low-cost programming for youth during out-of-school time that combine tennis and education to help keep kids safe, healthy and strong. Key NJTL initiatives include the Community Building Initiative, the Capacity Building Program, and the After-School Intermediary Project.
"The NJTL network is an important resource the USTA provides and a key USTA initiative in our effort to grow the game amongst America’s youth," said Kurt Kamperman, Chief Executive, Community Tennis, USTA. "It provides all children, regardless of their background, the opportunity to maximize their academic potential while learning a sport that can last a lifetime."
"This rebranding and name change will serve to raise awareness of NJTL’s emphasis on its educational opportunities, and augment the USTA’s desire to service America’s underserved youth through both educational and tennis-related activities," said Barry Ford, Director, Outreach and Advocacy, USTA.
The re-brand comes in conjunction with NJTL’s 40th anniversary, and NJTL chapters across the country will take part in a number of regional rallies throughout this summer.
The new brand identity is now being incorporated into all USTA materials, including newsletters, the USTA website, and other promotional mediums. Information on NJTL can be found at http://www.usta.com/NJTL.
About the USTA
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 730,000 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 Olympus US Open Series linking 10 summer tournaments to the US Open. In addition, it owns the 94 Pro Circuit events throughout the U.S., is a minority owner and promotional partner of World TeamTennis, 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 through tennis, helps underserved youth and people with disabilities to improve academics, build character and strive for excellence. For more information on the USTA, log on to usta.com.
The NJTL is a nation-wide network of community tennis organizations seeking to develop the character of young people through tennis and education. Founded in 1969 by Arthur Ashe, Charlie Pasarell, and Sheridan Snyder, this growing network of tennis providers share similar values, ideals, and goals by:
- reaching out to those who may not otherwise have the opportunity to play tennis
- instilling in youngsters the values of leadership and academic excellence
- giving all kids (regardless of income, race, gender) the opportunity to fully develop their tennis skills so they can derive a life time of enjoyment from the sport
NJTLs are unique because they offer a variety of on-court programming and also educational and life-skill components designed to enhance a player’s overall development. These educational components are diverse in nature, but can vary from things like mentoring and drug and alcohol counseling, to things like computer skills training, health and nutrition, and college preparation.