The USTA set a new Guinness World Record Sunday, with 406 enthusiastic kids ages 6-18 set the record for "Largest Tennis Lesson." Held at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, N.Y., the 30-minute lesson began at 9:00 a.m. with participation from several of the area’s largest tennis and education themed after school programs, including the New York Junior Tennis League (NYJTL) and Harlem Junior Tennis and Education Program (HJTEP). Joining in the event to encourage kids to get playing was Judy Murray, mother of reigning Wimbeldon Champion Andy Murray.
The record attempt was part of the broader World Tennis Day celebration on March 3 intended to raise awareness of the thousands of USTA Tennis Play Events occurring nationwide throughout the month of March. The events are designed to encourage families and children of all ages and skill levels to try tennis and to help garner excitement and to inspire youth to lead an active lifestyle.
The USTA also held a special presentation recognizing the “Largest Tennis Lesson” in the world at the BNP Paribas Showdown at New York’s Madison Square Garden on March 3. This year’s BNP Paribas Showdown witnessed a sibling doubles matchup with hometown favorites John & Patrick McEnroe taking on Bob & Mike Bryan, the number one doubles team in the world. The main event featured a singles match with U.S. Open and Wimbledon Champion Andy Murray taking on current world number two Novak Djokovic.
Since 2009, the USTA has led the charge in using World Tennis Day to provide a platform for facilities to register children for spring and summer programming. To date, more than 6,500 youth tennis events have been held as part of that initiative. Youth Tennis is focused on ensuring a positive first experience for kids by offering play for all ages and levels. An early, positive experience in sports is vital and creates a lifelong commitment to an active lifestyle.
“World Tennis Day is a celebration of our sport and a great platform to bring attention to the importance of getting kids active and ensuring a positive first experience in the sport,” said Dave Haggerty, chairman, CEO and president of the USTA. “These efforts are part of USTA’s long-standing commitment to increase access to the sport. If we reach children when they are young enough, they can learn to love physical activity and tennis for life.”
To find a Tennis Play Event and information on how families can get involved, visit youthtennis.com.
Credit all photos to Dave Suskin
<p>Dave Suskin is director of marketing and business development for New York Tennis Magazine. He may be reached by e-mail at <a href="mailto:email@example.com">firstname.lastname@example.org</a>.</p>