MIDDLE STATES TEEN
INSPIRED TO SHARE GIFT OF TENNIS
Dan Pyser | October 1, 2017
On the roster of the Gulph Mills 18U advanced team from King of Prussia, Pa., and the USTA Middle States Section, you’ll find a number of talented tennis players.
You’ll also find the founder of an impressive charity inspired by the sport of tennis.
Priya Aravindhan, a 16-year-old high school junior, started Tennis to a Future two years ago, along with the help from her father, Arvind Aravindhan, the team’s coach and a local tennis pro.
“I’ve traveled a lot and I’ve seen poverty firsthand,” said the younger Aravindhan. “These kids don’t really have much. I thought that we could give back to our hometown in India or even expand to other places. Even locally, to give back to the less fortunate or special needs kids and that’s kind of where the idea started.”
The idea blossomed into a plan to give back to her parents’ hometown of Chennai, India.
She and her father began collecting gently used tennis equipment, particularly racquets and shoes, and shipped them to a family friend in India to distribute to less fortunate kids.
After the seeing the success of her first philanthropic endeavor, Aravindhan hatched another plan when a devastating flood hit Chennai in late 2015. She arranged a fundraiser at her dad’s tennis club and, between donations and auctions, she was able to raise more than $5,000.
Recently, she brought Tennis to a Future to her school, Conestoga High School, where her a number of her Junior Team Tennis teammates attend.
“Our goal is to teach people how to teach tennis,” she said.
With her group of newly trained tennis instructors, she plans to host free clinics for underprivileged kids in inner-city Philadelphia and surrounding areas.
“My ultimate goal would be to spread to different countries and hold free clinics for kids who don’t have the means to play,” said Aravindhan (pictured front row, second from left).
Aravindhan has been playing since she was 5 years old. In the end, it comes down to giving back to a sport that has given her so much.
“Tennis has given me so much confidence and I just want to share that with other people.”