2021 Community Champions: Sportsmen's Tennis & Enrichment Center named NJTL Chapter of the Year
WATCH: Profile on The Sportsmen's Tennis & Enrichment Center
On Dec. 8, the USTA's Celebrating Community Champions virtual ceremony honored 2021 award-winners in a variety of service-based categories. During the event, each honoree received a surprise virtual call from a tennis legend as a thank-you for their contributions to growing the game of tennis both locally and nationally.
The Sportsmen's Tennis & Enrichment Center of Boston was honored with the USTA's National Junior Tennis & Learning (NJTL) Chapter of the Year Award on Wednesday, with Chris Evert on hand to present the award.
Sportsmen's is a leading NJTL chapter offering tennis, academic and social programs for children of all ages. In addition to tennis clinics, Sportsmen’s hosts 24 tournaments per year, sanctioned by the USTA, and offers tennis camps and programs during all Boston Public School vacation weeks and during summer vacation.
School to Sportsmen’s is a partnership with local public elementary schools to provide intensive support to a cohort of 75 students. Students receive academic support through one-on-one tutoring, project-based learning and online personal math and ELA curriculums. Enrichment opportunities include social-emotional learning, fitness, nutrition, gardening, music, art and, of course, tennis.
School to Sportsmen’s goal is to provide youth with quality out-of-school time experiences that develop skills such as perseverance, kindness and critical thinking. They also have unique programs such as DEUCE for boys ages 7-17, and High Energy Young Sister, better known as HEY Sister, an empowerment and leadership program for girls ages 7 – 17.
Sportsmen’s adapted its services and programs during the pandemic to ensure kids had a safe place to stay healthy, active and continue with their education. During their facility closure from March to June of 2020, they adapted the Learning Center at Sportsmen’s (TLC) programs to a remote format. In addition to providing its tennis curriculum virtually, Sportsmen’s created weekly virtual events, such as virtual museum tours, exercise breaks, wellness and meditation sessions and talent shows, to provide opportunities for students to learn together and socialize.
In addition to virtual programming, Sportsmen’s also helped families access Boston Public School meals, groceries and other assistance needed in the community, and made its facility available in the spring to provide over 800 COVID-19 screenings, distribute over 1,600 boxes of food, help more than 1,200 families sign up for ongoing food deliveries and provide counseling. Sportsmen’s continues to provide resources for the community by hosting an expert-led workshop on parenting during the pandemic and offering on-site vaccinations.
“We are proud to honor the important work being done at Sportsmen’s,” said Craig Morris, Chief Executive, Community Tennis, USTA. “Sportsmen’s commitment to delivering programs and resources that emphasize tennis, education and well-being is truly empowering the entire community and helping children reach their full potential.”
The USTA bestows the National Junior Tennis & Learning (NJTL) Chapter of the Year Award to chapters that positively impact youth through the powerful combination of tennis and education. Founded in 1969 by Arthur Ashe, along with Charlie Pasarell and Sheridan Snyder, the NJTL network is a nationwide group of more than 250 nonprofit youth development organizations. Supported by the USTA Foundation through financial grants, scholarship opportunities, curricula, technical assistance and training, the NJTL network provides free or low-cost tennis and education programming to more than 160,000 under-resourced youth nationwide.