USTA partners with Jack and Jill of America to bring tennis to its members
The USTA is partnering with the national non-profit organization Jack and Jill of America, Inc. [JJOA] to provide national tennis clinics to its members in the interest of growing the game among diverse current and future generations.
Launching in May with events in select cities, the partnership will promote, support and advance educational efforts around the sport of tennis, including exposure to career, internship and volunteer opportunities within the USTA. Additionally, starting in June, the program will offer five-week introductory tennis clinics exclusive to JJOA members from participating chapters; these clinics, available for youth (ages 6-17) and adults (18+), will make playing tennis easy and fun for players of all ages and abilities.
“We’re excited to deepen our existing relationship with Jack and Jill of America to bring the many benefits of tennis to its members,” Marisa Grimes, Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, USTA, said. “Tennis participation has boomed the past two years with more players hitting the courts to stay physically, mentally and socially active. At the USTA, we want to ensure the sport of tennis reflects the diversity of the communities around us, and we are looking forward to welcoming current and future generations of Jack & Jill players into our sport.”
A membership organization for mothers and children ages 2-19, JJOA was founded in 1938 in Philadelphia with a mission dedicated to nurturing future African American leaders by strengthening children through leadership development, volunteer service, philanthropic giving and civic duty. Each of JJOA's 252 chapters nationwide plans annual programming activities guided by a general five-point programmatic thrust: cultural awareness, educational development, health (education and advocacy), civic (legislative advocacy and service) and social/recreational areas. These chapters represent more than 40,000 family members.
“We are so excited about this partnership with USTA,” Jack and Jill of America national president Kornisha McGill Brown said. “As the premier African American family organization developing future African American leaders, we are happy to join their efforts to bring tennis opportunities to diverse communities nationwide.
"Everything we do is for the children, and we believe that this partnership will give them greater understanding about the sport of tennis to become experienced student-athletes. We also hope that our families enjoy all of the wonderful opportunities USTA presents.”
The introductory tennis program will help players develop the skills they need to rally, play and compete quickly in a way that is both enjoyable and rewarding. Clinics will be run by experienced tennis professionals (USTA trained and SafePlay approved), who will assess each individual’s skill level and teach participants the fundamentals of the game of tennis while building the skills they’ll need to continue to grow and have fun in the sport.
National Jack and Jill tennis programs will initially launch in the following USTA sections: USTA Eastern, USTA Florida, USTA Middle States, USTA Midwest, USTA New England, USTA Southern, USTA Southern California and USTA Texas. Additional sections will launch in the future.
In addition to the tennis clinics, participating USTA sections will work with local Jack and Jill chapters to host events throughout the year. The following events are already scheduled, with more to be announced.
As part of JJOA’s 45th National Convention taking place in Orlando, Fla., from July 26-31, the USTA will host tennis events at the USTA National Campus for Jack and Jill teens and associates.
JJOA, in partnership with the USTA, USTA Eastern, USTA Middle States and USTA New England, will host its 2nd Annual Family Skills Clinic on Martha’s Vineyard on Aug. 18.
JJOA and the USTA will work together to identify opportunities to create bespoke experiences for JJOA member families at USTA tournaments and/or co-hosted events, including the US Open.
To find out more about the USTA Jack and Jill tennis clinics, upcoming events, and to register with your respective USTA section, click here.