NYJTL Partners with Hospital for Special Surgery

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, NEW YORK, NY – [May 06, 2021] New York Junior Tennis & Learning (NYJTL), and the Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) will work together to promote and deliver injury prevention education and screening programs to NYJTL coaches, participants and select Cary Leeds Center for Tennis & Learning programs.

“This is a huge opportunity for all of our coaches and families,” said Jay Devashetty, Director of Player Development at the Cary Leeds Center for Tennis & Learning, “I am particularly excited to see the positive impact this training will have on the long-term health and well-being of our kids.”

HSS is the world’s leading academic medical center focused on musculoskeletal health. HSS has been ranked No. 1 in orthopedics for 11 years in a row by U.S. News & World Report (2020-2021) and has also been among the top-ranked hospitals for both orthopedics and rheumatology for 29 consecutive years.

“We are extremely excited to partner with NYJTL on this very important initiative,” said Dr. Andrew Pearle, Chief of the Sports Medicine Institute at HSS. “Preserving the musculoskeletal health of young athletes is among our top priorities and this collaboration will provide NYJTL coaches with the resources they need to keep children throughout New York City safe and healthy.”

Through this partnership, NYJTL coaches and participants will  learn about the health benefits associated with physical activity and how to maximize those benefits by reducing the risk of preventable injury. The cutting-edge injury prevention education and screening programs delivered by HSS will help to keep children on the court and promote long-term healthy living.

About New York Junior Tennis and Learning:

The mission of New York Junior Tennis & Learning is to develop the character of young people through tennis and education for a lifetime of success on and off the court.  Since 1971, NYJTL has changed lives through tennis, education, healthy living, and character development programs.  Today, it is the largest youth tennis and education non-profit in the nation, reaching 85,000 K-12 New York City youth. NYJTL celebrates the diversity of the children who participate in every program, providing three million hours of year-round tennis and education programming serving youth from all five New York City boroughs.  All NYJTL Community Tennis and Afterschool programs are offered at no cost to participants.

About HSS:

HSS is the world’s leading academic medical center focused on musculoskeletal health. At its core is Hospital for Special Surgery, nationally ranked No. 1 in orthopedics (for the 11th consecutive year), No. 4 in rheumatology by U.S. News & World Report (2020-2021), and named a leader in pediatric orthopedics by U.S. News & World Report “Best Children’s Hospitals” list (2020-2021). HSS is ranked world #1 in orthopedics by Newsweek (2020-2021). Founded in 1863, the Hospital has the lowest complication and readmission rates in the nation for orthopedics, and among the lowest infection rates. HSS was the first in New York State to receive Magnet Recognition for Excellence in Nursing Service from the American Nurses Credentialing Center five consecutive times. The global standard total knee replacement was developed at HSS in 1969.

An affiliate of Weill Cornell Medical College, HSS has a main campus in New York City and facilities in New Jersey, Connecticut and in the Long Island and Westchester County regions of New York State, as well as in Florida. In addition to patient care, HSS leads the field in research, innovation and education. The HSS Research Institute comprises 20 laboratories and 300 staff members focused on leading the advancement of musculoskeletal health through prevention of degeneration, tissue repair and tissue regeneration. The HSS Global Innovation Institute was formed in 2016 to realize the potential of new drugs, therapeutics and devices. The HSS Education Institute is a trusted leader in advancing musculoskeletal knowledge and research for physicians, nurses, allied health professionals, academic trainees, and consumers in more than 130 countries. The institution is collaborating with medical centers and other organizations to advance the quality and value of musculoskeletal care and to make world-class HSS care more widely accessible nationally and internationally. www.hss.edu.

NYJTL Announces New Board Chair

New York Junior Tennis & Learning (NYJTL) is pleased to announce that Bob Horne has been elected as its Board Chair effective February 23, 2021. Mr. Horne has been an active member of NYJTL’s Board for 25 years, including acting as Treasurer and serving on the Executive Committee for more than 20 years.

A long-time resident of New York City, Mr. Horne is the managing partner of ZS Fund L.P., a private equity firm. Mr. Horne was captain of the Harvard tennis team and achieved a top ten world ranking in the men’s 35-and-over division. In addition to graduating from Harvard, Mr. Horne also is a graduate of the Stanford Business School.

“Consistent with our mission statement, I am very excited about the opportunity to help NYJTL continue to develop the character of young people through tennis and education for a lifetime of success on and off the court,” said Mr. Horne. “I hope to help NYJTL further its reach in after-school enrichment programming and grass roots tennis as we build upon the success of the Cary Leeds Center for Tennis & Learning in providing access to tennis year-round. I also look forward to supporting our talented staff as they look to provide additional tennis coaching and academic support to our most advanced players to enable them to get college scholarships.”

Mr. Horne succeeded Martin Goldberg, who served as Chairman for ten years. During Mr. Goldberg’s tenure as Chairman, NYJTL increased its after-school programming throughout New York City and raised the funds and completed the construction of the Cary Leeds Center, the $26.5 million state-of-the-art facility and flagship home of NYJTL in the heart of the Bronx. Mr. Goldberg was elected Vice Chair and will remain on the Executive Committee.

“A key to NYJTL’s success has been the skill and commitment of its board leadership. NYJTL is fortunate to have had Martin Goldberg and Tory Kiam as previous Board Chairs, and I am pleased that now Bob has taken on this important role,” said Skip Hartman, NYJTL’s founder and Chairman Emeritus. “As Treasurer and Executive Committee member for many years, Bob thoroughly understands the organization, its challenges and many opportunities.”

“I have worked alongside Bob for many years, and his dedication to the children in the organization is ever-present,” said Mr. Goldberg. “I am excited for him to fill this role and could not be more confident in this transition.”

About NYJTL
The mission of New York Junior Tennis & Learning is to develop the character of young people through tennis and education for a lifetime of success on and off the court. Since 1971, NYJTL has changed lives through tennis, education, healthy living, and character development programs.  Today, it is the largest youth tennis and education non-profit in the nation, reaching more than 85,000 K-12 New York City youth.

NYJTL provides after school programming in approximately 30 schools and community tennis programming at approximately 40 sites throughout New York City in the summer months and at additional sites that operate during the school year. In addition, NYJTL designed, funded (with NYC), built and operates the Cary Leeds Center for Tennis & Learning, at which it provides free and commercial tennis programming year-round as well as life skills, character development and healthy living lessons. All NYJTL community tennis and after school programs are offered at no cost to its participants.

NYJTL is looking forward to celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2022 (delayed due to COVID)!

CEO’s Statement on Asian Discrimination

One of the core values of NYJTL, the commitment to diversity and inclusion, has underpinned our beliefs and our programs since our founding fifty years ago.  Without question we work on behalf of all the children and families of New York City regardless of race, ethnicity or color.

As we’ve seen in the last year of the pandemic there has been a growth in violence toward people who are Asian Americans.  Stop AAPI Hate, an initiative that tracks incidents of hate and discriminations against Asian Americans, released data that between March 2020 and February 2021, nearly 3,800 firsthand accounts of anti-Asian incidents were reported.  In addition, a recent survey by the Pew Research Center documented that nearly 40% of Americans say that “it’s more common for people to express racist beliefs about people who are Asian American” today than before Covid-19.  We want to strongly reaffirm that anti-Asian discrimination and violence have no place in America and that we will do our part in supporting the Asian American community.

We need to raise our voices to condemn all forms of racism and stand for inclusion for all.

George Guimaraes

President & CEO

The Racket

The Racket 🎾

Women’s History Month

Joyce Short, the Community Tennis Site Director at the Roosevelt Island site, is an example of dedication and service within the NYJTL community. In the Winter of 1991, Joyce and NYJTL first opened the site at Roosevelt Island, and it has been going strong ever since under her leadership. Read the full story

Coach Ahsha Featured by the USTA

Former touring pro and Director of Tennis at the Cary Leeds Center, Ahsha Rolle was coached and mentored on the WTA tour by Grand Slam winner, Lori McNeil. Now Coach Ahsha has the same passion to give back and mentor the next generation. (Read her story on USTA.com)

Coach Spotlight: Anna Tatishvili

Anna Tatishvili, coach at the Cary Leeds Center, is a Georgian-American and former professional tennis player. Anna’s story comes full circle in working for New York Junior Tennis & Learning.  Read the full story!

New ACES Partnership

The NYJTL ACES Program brings in a new partner, Practice Makes Perfect (PMP) to strengthen resources for NYC children in the time of COVID. PMP works to narrow the achievement gap and to deliver tutoring services so students may realize their full potential. This partnership has triggered an uptick in student participation during and after the school day.

Coach Spotlight: Anna Tatishvili

Anna Tatishvili, Associate Director of High Performance and Adult Programming at the Cary Leeds Center, is a Georgian-American and former professional tennis player. Anna’s story comes full circle in working for New York Junior Tennis & Learning.  She began her career as a young girl, and at age 10 at the Junior Orange Bowl (World Junior Championships) she met Gene Scott, the late husband of Board Member Polly Scott. Gene became an integral part in encouraging Anna to follow her passion and to become a world-class tennis player.  Anna was able to realize that dream.

In her career, Coach Anna won 11 singles and 8 doubles titles on the ITF Women’s Circuit, peaking at 59 in the doubles and reaching a career-high singles ranking of 50 in the world. One of her most memorable matches was the 2012 Australian Open. Anna beat former #1 player Ashley Barty and went on to play the top tournament seed and world number 1, Caroline Wozniacki.  Even though Anna did not win that match, she remembers it as one where she left it all on the court.

In March 2020, Anna announced her retirement from professional tennis and decided to focus her efforts on coaching the future generation of tennis players.  Not long after starting at the Cary Leeds Center, Anna received a surprise. “I got a most unexpected and heartwarming email from NYJTL Board member Polly Scott which made me very emotional, in a very good way of course!” Anna shared. After her late husband’s passing, Polly demonstrated her belief and commitment to the game by joining the NYJTL Board of Directors. “Life is a strange thing,” Anna said. “Who knew that 20 years after meeting Gene, that little girl with big dreams would work for the organization that he helped create.”

True to NYJTL’s mission, Anna is committed to encouraging good character through tennis and education for a lifetime of success, on and off the court. Anna explains, “I want to give back to my students all the knowledge and experience I have gathered over the course of my long tennis career. I hope I can also influence someone’s life positively; helping to build strong, confident children, which is what NYJTL stands for and I am very lucky to be part of this organization.”

Women’s History Month Feature: Joyce Short

Joyce Short, the Site Director for the Community Tennis Program at the Roosevelt Island site, is an example of dedication within the NYJTL community. In the Winter of 1991, Joyce and NYJTL first opened the site at Roosevelt Island, and it has been going strong ever since under her leadership.  In addition, she is a District Developer for Manhattan and Western Queens.

Initially, the Roosevelt Island program ran during the winter and summer, but today, the program operates year-round and rotates between the Roosevelt Island Racquet Club courts and the outdoor courts at the North end of the Island. Joyce doesn’t simply teach the kids skills to improve tennis, she has created a sense of community and camaraderie amongst the kids and their families regardless of individual or cultural backgrounds. Before COVID, after a winter session on the courts, the kids would get together and have a healthy and well-balanced breakfast. For the rest of the year, they’d hold a party each Friday afternoon to celebrate the accomplishments of all the kids and the birthdays that took place during the week.

Over the years, Joyce has worked with tens of thousands of kids and could arguably be the best-known person on Roosevelt Island, having worked with so many of the island’s families. For Joyce, the job is a passion; she loves to see the children grow and prosper.  She is drawn to the program and providing this opportunity for the children to build their self-esteem and allow them to be the best version of themselves.

Joyce has been an athlete her entire life, participating in tennis, basketball, diving, and skiing. She went to college at the University of Georgia in 1965, and had hoped to continue her passion of diving, deciding to live in the dorm next to the only pool, a men’s pool, on campus. She went to college before Title IX came into existence; a federal civil rights law in the United States that was passed as part of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, prohibiting sex-based discrimination in any school or other education program that receives federal money. She had competed on her city’s AAU Junior Olympic Team, but was only allowed to use the pool during free-swim hours, twice a week. During that time, the diving board was closed to accommodate people swimming laps, thus ending any chance of continued competition in the sport.

Women’s rights became an important issue for Joyce. She believes that girls are just as capable of becoming athletes as boys are.  “We do not separate the genders in the program, even at the advanced level.  Kids are assigned to a group based solely on their skills…. both the skills they have, and the skills they need. Gender is simply not a factor”.

Not only has Joyce been a staunch advocate for women’s rights and social justice, but also an advocate for the community of Roosevelt Island, by founding and serving on several community boards and having been the Co-Editor of The Main Street Wire.

Joyce has devoted 30 years of her life in service to the children throughout the City of New York and Roosevelt Island through NYJTL.  For this, during Women’s History Month, NYJTL is proud to spotlight Joyce’s tremendous contribution to so many children and thank her for her contributions on and off the courts.  Keep up the incredible work Joyce!