The success of the Williams sisters definitely played a huge role in attracting girls and young women of color to the sport, like Mariah who is a big fan of Serena Williams.
“I really like how she serves the ball ’cause she’s really powerful,” said Mariah.
Another perk of the game? It’s good for your health. According to the U.S. Tennis Association, playing just three hours a week can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease by 57 percent.
“There are many benefits to the game of tennis. There are the health benefits, you can lower your cholesterol, it can help prevent stroke and hypertension. Also there’s the boosting of brain power. And this is a lifelong game, so whether you’re 2 or 72 you can be out here on the court.”
Thomas Haslett’s 9-year-old son T.J. has participated in the program all summer long.
“He can’t really do full contact sports, so this is great. A couple hours in the morning, it’s good socialization for him, he’s around his peers,” said Haslett.
Kids like T.J. and Mariah know that when it comes to learning the game, it doesn’t happen overnight. “It’s a work in progress and you always have to keep trying to get better, ” said Mariah.
The legendary Arthur Ashe, who was the first black player selected to the U.S. Davis Cup and the only black man ever to win the singles title at Wimbledon, the U.S. Open and the Australian Open left us with these words, “Start where you are…use what you have”.
That’s exactly what these young people are doing under the guidance of Coach Bob Rush!