The 2022 ITA Leadership Awards Weekend came to a close this past Sunday after an eventful two days of celebration, networking, and humanitarianism in and around the US Open this past weekend in New York.
Beginning on Saturday, student-athletes in attendance took part in Arthur Ashe Kids Day at the US Open where they were each divided up onto individual courts where they worked hand-in-hand with hundreds of kids to teach basic tennis skills to many first-time players.
Celebrating the USTA Foundation’s National Junior Tennis and Learning Network, Arthur Ashe Kids Day brings tens of thousands of kids and parents to the US Open where many will be exposed to the sport of tennis for the first time in a fun and exciting way.
In total 14 student-athletes participated in Arthur Ashe Kids Day including, Ivana Corley (Oklahoma), Peyton Stearns (Texas), Ryan Nuno (Azusa Pacific), Megan Bell (Arkansas Tech), Harris Foulkes (Amherst), Anjali Devireddy (Johns Hopkins), Isaac Steiner (Indiana Wesleyan), Narjis Mzibri (Olivet Nazarene), Connor Ard (Solano College), Caroline Vincent (Army), Anna Tifrea (Cal Tech), Clare O’Keefe (Tennis For America), Andre Mercado (Tennis For America), Zayra Rivera (Tennis For America), and Ginger Valentine (Tennis For America).
Later in the evening, the ITA hosted its first ever ITA Leadership Awards Weekend Dinner where many dignitaries from all levels of tennis came together to celebrate the accomplishments of all the ITA’s national award winners.
Some awards handed out at the dinner included the inaugural ITA Chairman’s Award, the ITA Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship Award, the ITA Ann Lebedeff Leadership Award, the ITA Sally Ride Stem Award, the ITA Meritorious Service Award, and the ITA David A Benjamin Achievement Award.
Hosted at the Yale Club, the ITA Leadership Awards Dinner saw the likes of Stan Smith, Mike McNulty, and Ann Lebedeff in attendance in addition to all of the national award winners and their families.
Then to wrap up the weekend, student-athletes once again volunteered their time with a great day of fun and education at the Cary Leeds Center for Tennis and Learning in the Bronx, New York.
Here, players were paired up with a group of young-inspiring tennis players where there was fierce competition, many educational opportunities, and one-on-one time so that these young players could ask questions about the college experience and continuing with the sport of tennis.
Founded in 2015, the Cary Leeds Center for Tennis and Learning provides free year-round instruction and play for youth ages 5-18 and all skill levels. Not just a tennis facility, the Cary Leeds Center for Tennis and Learning also offers tutoring services to kids as well as many other developmental programs to help propel these kids for the future.