NEW YORK, N.Y. â€“ Children in Harlem got a chance to play tennis and learn about the history of African Americans in the sport on August 19, as USTA Eastern and the Harlem Junior Tennis and Education Program hosted a free 10 and Under Tennis Play Day at Howard Bennett Playground. The event, which was held as part of HARLEM WEEK, featured tennis clinics for kids using equipment tailored to their age and size, and a special mobile exhibit, â€œBreaking the Barriers: The ATA and Black Tennis Pioneers.â€
The exhibit, which was produced by the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum, describes the origins and history of the American Tennis Association (ATA), established in 1916 to promote tennis and help blacks gain access to tournament tennis.
Th event was held as part of HARLEM WEEK, which offers more than 100 events throughout the summer to celebrate the neighborhoodâ€™s assets and unique flavor and promote Harlemâ€™s history and culture.
â€œWe are so proud to have been a part of HARLEM WEEK this year,â€ said Michelle Blake Wilson, Managing Director of Marketing and Communications for USTA Eastern. â€˜The event gave kids a chance to enjoy kid-friendly tennis and learn about the history of tennis in the African American community.â€
â€œThe 10 and Under Tennis Play Day was an outstanding addition to HARLEM WEEK,â€ said Lloyd Williams, President & CEO of The Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce. â€œIt not only exposed kids to tennis, but also highlighted some of the great tennis programs in our community.â€
The USTA Eastern Section, based in White Plains, New York, is a not-for-profit community service organization whose mission is to promote and develop the growth of tennis.Â The section encompasses all of New York State, Northern New Jersey and Greenwich, Connecticut.Â It is one of 17 geographic sections of the United States Tennis Association, the governing body of tennis in the United States, and supports more than 49,000 members.Â The section also establishes and maintains rules of fair play, high standards of sportsmanship and represents, in its jurisdiction, the programs and policies of the USTA.Â More information about the USTA Eastern section is available by visiting: www.eastern.usta.com.