The Fayez Sarofim & Co. U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship has designated the National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL) chapter of the Houston Tennis Association (HTA) as the tournament beneficiary.
The National Junior Tennis and Learning program was founded by Arthur Ashe, the 1967 US Clay champion. The NJTL programs are designed to develop the character of children through tennis and education.
The programs actively reach out to youth who may not otherwise have the chance to participate in tennis through free and low-cost opportunities. In addition to teaching tennis skills, the programs seek to encourage the values of humanitarianism, leadership and academic excellence among participants.
In Houston, a partnership between the HTA and the City of Houston Parks & Recreation Department sees more than 6,000 kids participate annually in NJTL programs at 44 different facilities throughout the city. Nationally, NJTL programs are supported by the United States Tennis Association Foundation.
“We are very grateful to have been named the beneficiary of the Fayez Sarofim & Co. U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship,” said Emily Schaefer, NJTL Program Director for the HTA. “It is inspiring to see an event at the highest level of the professional game reaching out to support grassroots efforts to not only grow the game but using the sport as a tool to teach children valuable off-court lessons.”
Through the partnership between the U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship and the HTA, a portion of proceeds from the ATP World Tour event held each April at River Oaks Country Club will be donated to support local NJTL programming. The tournament will also be active in various NJTL events during the year, including the annual Kids Day at Memorial Park.
Click here to watch a video recap of the 2017 Kids Day.
“We work closely with the HTA throughout the year and are thrilled to be able to further support the local NJTL programs with this designation as tournament beneficiary,” said Tournament Director Bronwyn Greer. “It is so important that children are active, and tennis is a lifetime sport that can help start healthy habits early on. While it’s always great to see kids playing tennis, the life skills NJTL participants learn are what really makes the program invaluable for our community. It’s an honor to be able to support these efforts.”
This year’s Fayez Sarofim & Co. U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship will take place April 7-15. The tournament has commitments from defending champion Steve Johnson as well as John Isner, Jack Sock, Sam Querrey, Kevin Anderson, Ryan Harrison, Hyeon Chung, Frances Tiafoe and the Bryan brothers, Bob and Mike, to play in 2018.
The tournament will continue to support Pediatric Trauma at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital through the Ticket Turnback Program. This initiative allows patrons with tickets they cannot use to release those seats for the tournament to resell, with the full resale price being donated to the hospital. Through 10 years, the program has raised nearly $200,000.