Young Atlanta Tennis Players strive to attend the U.S Open

Tennis Player, Jonathan Hart and Coach William “Wink” Fulton raise funds to ensure that young NJTL members get the opportunity to experience Arthur Ashe day.
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ATLANTA - April 17, 2015 - PRLog -- Arthur Ashe had a dream that tennis could become accessible to the masses regardless of their finances or upbringing.  Ashe wanted any child who loved tennis to be able to play just like he did.  Historically, tennis has been a sport reserved for those that had money.  Ashes said, Tennis can be used “as a way to gain and hold the attention of young people so that we can teach them about matters more important than tennis,” and that “through tennis, lives can be changed and spirits reclaimed.”

Even today, Tennis is still perceived as a rich man’s sport.  Ashe wanted to break those perceptions. In 1969, Ashe, Charlie Pasereli, and Sheridan Snyder founded The United States Tennis Association’s National Junior Tennis and Learning Association (NJTL).

NJTL is a national network of community based tennis organizations that work to shape the character of youth through tennis and education. The goal of NJTL programming is to instill in youth the importance of academic excellence and leadership while giving them the opportunity to fully develop their tennis skills.  Atlanta based Coach, William “Coach Wink” Fulton’s is furthering Ashe’s  dreams through his own program  entitled the G.A.M.E In Coach Wink’s program through NJTL, youth learn to set realistic, achievable and sustainable goals based upon their interests and abilities.

NJTL programming is made affordable and accessible for youth so that they can enjoy the lifetime benefits of the sport. The G.A.M.E. develops individualized plans of instruction and physical training for all students, and each student is encouraged to progress at their own pace. Students are grouped by age, physical ability, skill level, motivation, and commitment to learning the sport.  The most exciting aspect of the program is the Gibson-Ashe-McLoyd-Experience.

The Gibson-Ashe-McLoyd-Experience is designed to utilize the various life and competitive experiences of Althea Gibson, Arthur Ashe, and Coach Wink’s former student, Stephanie McLoyd who was killed in a car accident.  During this experience students attend the U.S. Open and Arthur Ashe day where they get the opportunity to interact and meet professional players and other junior players from all over the country.  “For some students this will be their only opportunity to attend a pro match.  The experience has always impacted the students who attend.  It raises their confidence and makes them realize that they too can be thee next Arthur Ashe, Althea Gibson or Williams sisters,” said Coach Wink.

The goal for the experience is to promote respect for learning and fair play while motivating and challenging youth to compete like champions in tennis and life. The G.A.M.E. aims to develop student athletes who are well prepared for both life and sport. The students from Atlanta’s NJTL had the chance to experience The Gibson-Ashe-McLoyd-Experience in the past but could not attend the U.S. Open last year due to a lack of funding.  This year Tennis player and owner of De JaVu 2, Jonathan Hart has made it his mission to help the association raise funds so that as many students in Atlanta NJTL program can attend the U.S. Open and participate in Arthur Ashe day.  “I was heartbroken when I found out that the kids couldn’t go last year because I know what the experience will do for many of them.  It’s a life changing experience and I want to make sure our community supports our youth,” said Hart.  To get more info on how to support please contact Jonathan Hart and Coach Wink at 678-508-1679.
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Tags:Atlanta, Tennis, Arthur Ashe, Us Open, Njtl
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Location:Atlanta - Georgia - United States
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