Simply stated, USTA Tennis (NJTL) National Junior Tennis League gets kids and courts together, encouraging the private sector and the public sector to lend a hand as all work toward that common goal. Founded in 1969, the National Junior Tennis League was the brainchild of former tennis champs Arthur Ashe and Charlie Pasarell, as well as businessman Sheridan Snyder. Its goal was simple: to encourage kids - with a specific focus on urban kids - to try the game of tennis.
As its scope broadened, the National Junior Tennis League’s successful formula began reaching a wide variety of locales, and in 1985, it joined forces with the USTA in an effort to unify their common goal of introducing tennis to young people everywhere. USTA Tennis NJTL centers on team play, while helping those kids involved develop tennis skills and fitness awareness. Moreover, participants develop a feeling of belonging and a sense of self-worth that help them develop as players and as people.
Since its establishment in 1969, USTA Tennis NJTL has had a significant impact on the lives of many of our nation’s youth. USTA Tennis NJTL seeks to develop the character of young people through tennis, emphasizing the ideals and life of Arthur Ashe by:
- Reaching out to those who may not otherwise have the opportunity to learn and play tennis.
- Instilling in youth the values of humanitarianism, leadership and academic excellence.
- Giving youth the opportunity to fully develop their tennis skills so they can derive a lifetime of enjoyment from the sport.
More Than Just Tennis
USTA Tennis NJTL is a community-driven program that keeps children off the streets and out of trouble by providing them with a safe haven, adult role models and an opportunity to develop positive social skills and learning disciplines. Many USA Tennis NJTL participants have gone on to become doctors, lawyers, teachers, engineers, accountants, tennis teaching professionals, coaches and business executives. A few have even become professional tennis players.
Why USTA Tennis/NJTL
For All Participating Youth:
- It promotes Fun, Fitness, and Friends. These are the three main reasons why children play sports.
- It creates and maintains a child’s interest in tennis by turning learning into fun and team spirit.
- Everyone plays. No one is cut.
- Competition and skill instruction are kept in perspective with the child’s abilities and interest.
- USTA Tennis NJTL focuses on the lessons of Arthur Ashe’s life, emphasizing the social and academic development of its participants. It’s more than just a tennis program!
- It allows communities to tap into the nationwide network of services and program assistance provided by the USTA.
- Good sportsmanship is emphasized at an age when youth are impressionable and forming their value systems.
- Being involved in USA Tennis NJTL (i.e. volunteering, running a program/chapter) is fulfilling.
For Communities (Departments of Parks and Recreation, Youth Organizations, Public Schools):
- A well-defined tennis program emphasizes good citizenship.
- A local organization can raise funds to support the programs.
Benefits to Becoming Affiliated with USTA Tennis NJTL
- Program leaders are eligible to receive scholarships to attend USTA National Tennis Community Development Workshops.
- Free program materials, including posters, on-court guides, marketing kits, match score sheets, registration materials, selected USTA Team Tennis materials and Arthur Ashe materials are designed to attract local support.
- Students are eligible to participate in the following: Regional Rallies, Invitational Tennis Leadership Camp, Arthur Ashe Essay Contest and USTA Tennis Foundation Scholarships.
- Program and Chapter leaders will receive a free USTA Tennis NJTL Newsletter at least two times per year.
- Programs and Chapters are eligible for general public liability and other group insurance packages at one of the lowest possible prices on the market.
For more information on your local NJTL chapters and programming, contact your District Coordinator listed below:
Colorado - Kristy Harris, (303) 695-4116
Idaho - Matt Locke, (208) 322-5150, Ext. 207
Montana - Jesse Peach, (406) 579-9609
Nevada - Ryan Wolfington, (702) 792-8384
Utah - Liz Grayston, (801) 944-8782
Wyoming - Dave Boon, (307) 742-0892