January 26, 2019
On Saturday, January 26, USTA Eastern honored 11 junior tournament players who demonstrated outstanding sportsmanship on the court in 2018 during our annual Junior Awards Luncheon at the Eastern Tennis Conference.
We want to extend a special thanks to our luncheon sponsor Mount Sinai Health System and Dr. Alexis Chiang Colvin, Chief Medical Officer for the US Open and team physician for the U.S. Fed Cup team. In a speech to the recipients, Dr. Colvin offered some helpful advice on how to properly take care of your body to maximize performance.
The highlight of the luncheon was when our featured speaker, Jessica Long, a swimmer and 23-time Paralympic medalist, took the podium. Long, who recently published her autobiography, “Unsinkable,” spoke candidly about being born without fibulas, ankles, heels and most of the other bones in her feet—and as a result, needing to have her legs amputated at 18 months old so she could be fitted for prosthetics. ADVERTISEMENT Long recalled first learning to swim and noted that she stuck with the sport because from the start, members of her swim team treated her just like any other swimmer. She received an emphatic standing ovation at the end of her speech when she explained that many things in her life have been out of her control, but one thing she does have control over is not having a negative attitude.
Congratulations to all our sportsmanship winners, and thanks to Jessica Long for her inspirational remarks.
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USTA Eastern is committed to providing a positive atmosphere for tennis players across the section. Throughout the year, USTA Eastern will be sanctioning select tournaments as “#KindTennis Tournaments,” where we will have on-site activations to celebrate what it means to be a good sport. These activations include contests asking players to describe what good sportsmanship means to them, fun photo opportunities, giveaways and prizes. In addition, we’ll have #KindTennis ambassadors at these designated tournaments who will identify and reward good sports. Check back in to this page for updates, recognition and news surrounding this campaign.