The United States Tennis Association (USTA) and the National League Cities (NLC) have announced today that they have joined forces in a pilot initiative to promote children’s physical activity while developing social-emotional skills that will last through their lifetimes.
Under the pilot program, three cities will incorporate quality tennis instruction based on USTA’s Net Generation curriculum and coaching support into their local afterschool programs, with an eye to ensuring children and youth who are underserved and from lower-income communities have meaningful access to the sport.
With generous support from the USTA, NLC’s Institute for Youth, Education, and Families (YEF Institute) will select three cities to implement at least two six-week sessions of tennis instruction over the next year into afterschool or summer programs located throughout their citywide afterschool system, including their city-sponsored afterschool programs as well as school- and community-based programs. All participating programs will receive free state of the art tennis equipment and provider training. The goal is to provide tennis exposure to as many children and youth as possible to keep them healthy and learn new skills. NLC will meet regularly with the cities’ programs teams to review their afterschool program landscape to determine which programs can expand to include tennis, and USTA will help the selected cities access, improve and expand their local tennis facilities infrastructure.
“We could not be more excited to partner with the National League Cities as we make the game of tennis accessible to families across the country,” said Craig Morris, Chief Executive, Community Tennis, USTA. “As we look to get more kids in the game through Net Generation we are looking forward to welcoming more cities into the partnership in the coming years.”
The YEF Institute has a long track record of helping cities, towns and villages build strong local coordinated citywide afterschool networks – including supporting the 50 statewide afterschool networks across the country – that offer the benefits of afterschool and summer learning programming with the goal of strengthening social and emotional skills such as teamwork, communication, perseverance, integrity, and leadership as well as career and college readiness that will last through a child’s lifetime.
“This partnership with USTA allows NLC to combine our resources to provide children of all backgrounds the opportunity to learn a new sport while building the life skills that will benefit them for the future,” said National League of Cities CEO and Executive Director Clarence E. Anthony. “We are excited to see what our pilot cities can achieve and look forward to expanding this partnership with USTA.”
Net Generation aims to inspire the next generation of tennis players by embracing all aspects of youth play for kids ages 5-18. The objective of Net Generation is to provide a child-friendly, safe connection to the sport, as well as a platform to celebrate individuality and self-expression. For the first time, American tennis has one unified youth brand for children to get into the sport. Net Generation makes it easier for kids and their parents to learn about tennis and get into the game in schools, parks and tennis clubs across the country. To learn more or sign up for free, please visit NetGeneration.com.
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National League of Cities (NLC) is dedicated to helping city leaders build better communities. NLC is a resource and advocate for 19,000 cities, towns and villages, representing more than 218 million Americans. The Institute for Youth, Education, and Families, a special entity within the National League of Cities, helps municipal leaders take action on behalf of the children, youth, and families in their communities. Learn more at nlc.org.
The U.S. Tennis Association (USTA) is the national governing body for the sport of tennis in the U.S. and the leader in promoting and developing the growth of tennis at every level — from local communities to the highest level of the professional game. A not-for-profit organization with more than 655,000 members, it invests 100% of its proceeds in growing the game. It owns and operates the US Open, one of the highest-attended annual sporting events in the world, and launched the US Open Series, linking seven summer WTA and ATP World Tour tournaments to the US Open. In addition, it owns approximately 90 Pro Circuit events throughout the U.S. and selects the teams for the Davis Cup, Fed Cup, Olympic and Paralympic Games. The USTA’s philanthropic entity, the USTA Foundation, provides grants and scholarships in addition to supporting tennis and education programs nationwide to benefit under-resourced youth through the National Junior Tennis & Learning (NJTL) network. For more information about the USTA, go to USTA.com or follow the official accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat.
The National League of Cities (NLC) is the voice of America’s cities, towns and villages, representing more than 200 million people across the country. NLC works to strengthen local leadership, influence federal policy and drive innovative solutions. Stay connected with NLC on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.