Eastern / New Jersey

USTA Eastern Perth Amboy Partnership

February 05, 2020


USTA Eastern helped make the tennis aspirations of seven local Perth Amboy children (above) a reality by giving each 10 weeks of free lessons at Brunswick Hills Tennis Center. The section was able to provide this opportunity through a diversity grant as well as a strategic partnership with the Puerto Rican Association for Human Development (PRAHD), Brunswick Hills Tennis Center, and the Perth Amboy Parks & Recreation Department. 

 

Jasmin Melendez, PRAHD’s Director of Youth Programs & Growing Together Through Tennis Program Manager, personally selected the recipients—Kryon, Roberto, GerJoel, Maya, Dante, Frandy and Diana—singling out their talent, attitude and genuine desire to play the sport. To receive the lessons, the children, who ranged in age from 7-12 years, agreed to write an essay examining what the experience taught them about achieving their goals.

 

The lessons began November 11, 2019, under the expert instruction and supervision of Brunswick Hills Tennis Director Carlos Martinez, and finished on January 30, 2020. Quacey Balleste, USTA Eastern Tennis Service Representative for New Jersey at the time the lessons began, and David J. Williams, Diversity & Inclusion, and Events Manager for USTA Eastern, were thrilled to hear about the children’s progress and continued interest in the sport. 

 

The lessons also coincide with ongoing efforts to increase tennis participation in the Perth Amboy community. In May, the city plans to rename their local tennis courts after Robert S. Carter, a highly decorated African-American police officer who served the neighborhood for over 33 years and who also worked as a tennis instructor. Additionally, as a part of the continued strategic partnership with PRAHD and the Perth Amboy Parks & Recreation Department, Brunswick Hills Tennis Center professional and advanced instructors and coaches will teach evening and summer programs on the newly-named courts. Brunswick Hills, meanwhile, will be granted access to the courts to further develop their elite player contingent.

 

Williams, along with Martinez, Melendez, Kenny Ortiz, Superintendent of Recreation for the City of Perth Amboy, and Natalie Dagnall—the new Tennis Service Representative for the New Jersey Region—are all extremely excited about the meaningful impact that this agreement can potentially have in the community for generations to come.  

 

“This strategic partnership will open the door for so many others who may never have thought about playing tennis in this predominately Latinx community,” Williams said.

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