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May Letter From the President

At the USTA National meeting in Orlando, Katrina Adams, the first African American USTA President and only the fourth female President since its inception in 1881, gave a speech on the importance of Diversity and Inclusion. As a former Pro-Player, who grew up in a middle-class neighborhood on the West side of Chicago, she has experienced firsthand the importance of diversity and helping to make tennis look like the face of America. Listed below are a few statistics from Ms. Adams to help better understand why USTA is placing such an emphasis on Diversity and Inclusion.

  1. White adolescents are almost twice as likely to participate in tennis…as African American or Latino/youth.
  2. 77% of participants in youth tennis are white. (compared with 9% and 14% African American and Hispanic reflectively)
  3. Tennis grew slightly in 2015 (including a 12% jump in Hispanic participation), but African American participation fell by almost 2% and is on the decline.

The question then becomes how do we make tennis look more like the face of America and why do we need to?

In Kentucky, making tennis more reflective of our country and state begins at the grass roots level. It must be action oriented to be successful with every member of the tennis community seeking to involve and empower all diverse peoples by recognizing the inherent worth and dignity of everyone. We need to actively reach out to underserved populations along with the African American, Asian and Hispanic populations using new and creative programming and ideas. Why? Because tennis will slowly and quietly decline if we do not make it the sport for all. Perhaps no one says it better than Dr. Maya Angelou, whom I was honored and privileged to meet. “We all should know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry, and we must understand that all the threads of the tapestry are equal in value no matter what their color.”

Dell

President

USTA Kentucky

“Tennis…It All Matters!”

 

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