| By Long Island Tennis Magazine Staff

The USTA recently held a youth tennis exhibition to generate awareness of the importance of multi-sport participation in creating a lifelong enjoyment of sports–ultimately, empowering future generations of children to stay healthy and active.

On hand at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center were Ryan McDonagh, captain of the New York Rangers and U.S. Olympian; Nastia Liukin, 2008 Olympic gold medalist; and Laila Ali, former boxing champion, TV Host and USTA Youth Tennis spokesperson. Liukin, McDonagh and Ali discussed the benefits of playing multiple sports and how an early, positive experience in the world of sports is vital and creates a lifelong commitment to an active lifestyle.

The event was held to raise awareness for September as National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. With more than 23 million obese or overweight children in America, the USTA has created USTA Tennis Play Events for kids of all ages and skill levels to test out the sport of tennis in a free, fun and friendly environment. Tennis Play Events can be found at YouthTennis.com.

Credit all photos to the USTA