ORGANIZER OF THE MONTH: JUNE 2017
June 13, 2017
Each month, USTA Eastern selects one passionate advocate who has impacted lives through tennis on a local level. It all begins with a love of the game! These individuals have inspired us with their community tennis involvement.
Tennis Organizer of the Month: June 2017
Jonathan Raude, of New York, N.Y., was chosen as USTA Eastern’s Tennis Organizer of the Month for June for connecting young professionals to local play opportunities. Raude, who has played tennis since age eight, has dedicated his time to developing the sport with both children and young adults.
“Tennis has shaped my life in such a positive way,” Raude said. “I hope that I am able to help shape other people’s lives in a positive way through tennis.”
Raude coordinates New York City Aces, a program for young professionals in the metropolitan area to play tennis, meet new people and network. ADVERTISEMENT Each NYC Aces event is approximately two and a half hours, including warm-up, a doubles competition and doubles play, based on level. In addition to food and drink, attendees are provided with racquets, if needed, and can earn prizes through their participation. NYC Aces events are typically held once every two months on Friday nights, and cost $30 per person.
“I think NYC Aces is a great opportunity to get more millennials from New York City playing tennis,” Raude said. “I wanted to take my network of friends and knowledge of millennials in the area to provide this opportunity and use it as a pathway to additional play options outside of the NYC Aces events.”
Raude, who became actively involved in running NYC Aces in October 2016, believes it is important to get young adults engaged and into tennis so participation in the sport increases. In order to keep young adults interested in tennis, Raude works with USTA Eastern’s Sets in the City program to promote additional play opportunities among NYC Aces participants.
“Young adults are next in line to have kids and if they aren’t into the game, then their kids won’t be interested in the game,” Raude said. “We need to provide them with unique, memorable experiences that give them an interest and desire to play, and play more.”
In addition to his work with NYC Aces, Raude volunteers his time teaching tennis to youth through Junior Team Tennis (JTT). He coached a summer 14U JTT team in 2016 and a winter 10U team that recently finished in the spring. Additionally, Raude volunteered at several JTT tournaments, including the Metro Region’s Turkey Bowl last November.
“My high school coach Howie Arons had a significant impact on my life both inside and outside of tennis,” Raude said. “I hope one day someone else can say ‘that guy Jonathan helped me get to where I am today.’”
Raude, a native of Rego Park, N.Y., grew up playing tennis in USTA Eastern’s Metro Region. He is currently the Second Vice President of the Metro Region Board of Directors, a position he has held since December 2016. Raude is also a member of New York Junior Tennis and Learning’s Next Generation Committee, where he strategizes with other young adults on how the organization can utilize tennis to make a difference in children’s lives.
“Having played within the region for so many years, I had some ideas of what I could do to get involved,” Raude said. “I wanted to give back and help younger kids whose shoes I was once in.”