The Lee CTA is proud to be a National Junior Tennis & Learning (NJTL) Chapter! The NJTL ESSAY CONTEST (formerly know as "The Arthur ashe ESSAY CONTEST") is open to all children 6-18 years, who have participated in LEE CTA tennis programs. All entrants ARE eligible for USTA New England Awards and USTA National Awards
What is the most important lesson you have learned thus far through NJTL, and how does that lesson help you in your life as a student, a tennis player, and an individual?
Our 2018 Winners...
- Sophia Puntin - WINNER - USTA/NEW ENGLAND - Girls 11/12
"The most important lesson I have learned through NJTL is you have to be focused. As a tennis player you have to keep your eye on the ball, and you can't get distracted or else you will most likely lose the game. In tennis, you must stay focused if you want to do your best. And doing you best is just as important as staying focused. If you do your best, then you will probably do better than if you just swing your racket around and not try your best. In tennis, you also have to be respectful to the other players and you should always put effort into tennis."
Click here to read the full essay. Congratulations Sophia!!!
- Sadie Burrows, Age 6 - WINNER - LEE CTA - Girls 10 & Under
"I want to respect the world...I want to respect my friends...I want to respect the world, you see, so I can meet new friends...If I don't meet new friends, you see, I will be lonely...If I'm lonely, you see, how will I learn to play tennis?"
Click here to read the full essay. Congratulations Sadie!!!
Our 2016 Winners...
- Surianna Lee - WINNER - USTA/New England - Girls 13/14
"Tennis at first may seem like an individualized sport, and that every man is for himself. Especially by playing on a high school tennis team, I have realized that you all work together to win each point and each match and every player is crucial, even if you play the last spot on the team. From this, I have learned to face challenges by looking at them from multiple points of view instead of just mine and taking others into consideration before acting by myself."
click here to read the full essay. Congratulations Suri !!!
"UP UNTIL 2016, ENTRANTS WERE ASKED TO WRITE ESSAYS ABOUT LESSONS THEY HAD LEARNED WHICH RELATED TO THE LIFE & IDEALS OF ARTHUR ASHE, THE FOUNDER OF NJTL. HIS DESIRE TO HELP CHILDREN DEVELOP SKILLS FOR LEADERSHIP AND ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE THROUGH TENNIS MOTIVATED ME TO ORGANIZE THE LEE CTA/NJTL CHAPTER IN 1992. I'M HOPING TO MAINTAIN THAT FOCUS FOR YEARS TO COME." Clare "Bunnie" Lahey, Founder
- Arthur Ashe was an American hero fighting battles both on and off the court.
- He broke barriers in the tennis world, becoming the first African-American male to win a Grand Slam tournament and finishing his career with three Grand Slam titles, including the 1968 US Open.
- Off the court, he was a social activist taking on issues like racial prejudice, AIDS, apartheid and education.
- One of his many legacies includes National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL), a network of youth-serving organizations that provide tennis and education for all. His wish was for NJTL to be a resource for kids to develop skills for leadership and academic excellence.
The Lee CTA has offered this contest to children throughout Berkshire County since 1999, the first year of the competition. That year, our own Laura Griffin was a National Winner in the 18U Girls division, winning the trip to NYC!
CLICK HERE to read Laura's winning essay.
In 2013, we were proud to have one New England Sectional winner, Hadley DeVarennes, Girls 10 and under. Local winners were Madeline Von Ruden, Girls 11/12; Ben Ames, Boys 10 and Under; CLICK HERE to read Hadley's winning essay!
In 2002 New England Sectional winners were Mike Murch, 16; Kristen Berry, 12; and Laura Toomey, 10. Local winners were Andreas Naranjo (16U Boys), Amber Bitso (14U Girls), Peter Choi (12U Boys), Rebecca Strock (12U Girls), and Samantha Rydell (10U Girls). New England Sectional winners were Amber Bitso, Peter Choi, Rebecca Strock, and Samantha Rydell.
Above are the 2002 Berkshire County & USTA/New England Winners with the local contest judges.