Arthur Ashe Essay Contest


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 Lee CTA,
USTA New England, and USTA National Awards.

Winners are chosen from the following age categories: 10 and Under, 11/12, 13/14, 15/16, 17/18 (1 boy and 1 girl from each category).

The 10 USTA New England finalists receive a plaque engraved with their names (ARV: $25). The 10 USTA National winners are awarded a 4-day trip with parent/legal guardian to New York City for Arthur Ashe Kids' Day (ARV $1600 each). National winners also attend a professional tennis event, see a Broadway show, and receive a special award at a luncheon held in their honor. 

Children are encouraged to write an essay about lessons they have learned which relate to the life and ideals of tennis legend Arthur Ashe, the founder of the National Junior Tennis & Learning (NJTL) program. His desire to help children develop skills for leadership and academic excellence motivated me to organize the Lee CTA/NJTL Chapter in 1992. We hope to maintain that focus for many more years!  
- Clare "Bunnie" Lahey, Founder, 2021 

For every hour a child spends on the court, an hour should be spent with a book.
-Arthur Ashe, NJTL Founder, 1971


Past Winners!

2000:  Laura Griffin, Age 15 - NATIONAL WINNER - Girls 15/16 years

"Why is Arthur Ashe a sports legend? One definition of a sports legend is an athlete that succeeds against great odds. That is what Arthur Ashe did. He overcame a racial society by becoming the first, and only African American tennis player to be ranked number one in the world. He is a legend, not just because of how well he played the game, but also how he used his status to make positive changes in both the game and in society." CLICK HERE to read the full essay. Congratulations Laura!!!

2018:  Sophia Puntin, Age 11 - 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!!!

2018:  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!!!

2013:  Surianna Lee, Age 14  - 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 !!!

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