The March Racket

Some programs might be suspended, but we are HERE for YOU!

NYJTL would like to proudly announce that 136 NYJTL heroes have voluntarily stepped up to staff the Department of Education’s crucial Regional Enrichment Centers (REC) during the coronavirus emergency.

REC programming began at 70 sites on Monday, March 23, and includes four NYJTL ACES locations: Hyde Leadership Middle and Elementary Schools, P.S. 42, and P.S. 12. Our NYJTL staff are voluntarily working in 35 REC locations.

These NYJTL heroes will:

  • Work with respective school principals and leadership to determine how to best support distance learning.
  • reate individualized school plans, including assisting in the implementation of both academic and social and emotional learning (SEL) based curriculum.
  • upport technological classroom set up: dogu, Google classroom, and take-home classwork packaging and distribution.
  • Distribute laptops and provide necessary supplies for children to effectively learn online.
  • Supervise attendance, program administration, and general operations.
  • Communicate with parents in languages other than English where needed.
  • Provide crisis management and hands-on intervention.
  • Assist kitchen staff with meal preparation and family pickup coordination.
  • Develop daily communication with school, parents, and participants.

We have also provided a library of digital resources and activities to keep families healthy and learning after regular school hours.  Check out a week’s worth of activities.

Monday
The Department of Education has provided additional materials to help keep students engaged beyond their online lessons. These resources are for students in all grades, from elementary to high school. Click here to check out these materials!

Tuesday
With so many kids home from school, GoNoodle: Good Energy at Home, is providing ways for families to move and learn together while staying active, focused, and calm! Click here to learn more!

Wednesday
Prodigy Math Games is delivering a unique learning experience for kids through an interactive math game where success depends on correctly answering skill-building math questions. Click here to play!

Thursday
This comic book is an easy, and kid friendly way, to explain to your kids what the Coronavirus is and steps that they can take to keep themselves safe. Click here to read it!

Friday
After spending the day with their teachers learning online, your kids can spend the afternoon sketching Stitch from Disney’s Lilo & Stitch like a pro! Click here to watch the video!

Up Next:

  • Stay tuned for more resources as we follow health and safety precautions!

What We’re Reading:

Cary Leeds Center Temporary Closing

Dear Cary Leeds Center Families,

 

In view of Coronavirus health advisories from CDC and NY health officials, NYJTL will be closing the Cary Leeds Center at 8 pm tonight, Monday, March 16.  Your health and safety are our number one priority.

  • Our customer service center will remain open but staff will work remotely, so do not hesitate to call
  • We will make all efforts to reschedule missed programming as soon as we are able to reopen and will communicate with you as we learn more

We look forward to serving you in-person in the near future and until then please follow us on Facebook for tips on how to get the daily recommended amounts of exercise for your family at home during this time.

Yours sincerely,

George Guimaraes, NYJTL CEO and President
Liezel Huber, Cary Leeds Center Executive Director of Tennis

The January Racket

Goodbye 2019, 2020 Here We Come!

This past year, NYJTL created many learning opportunities for NYC youth, from providing SAT prep classes to building a community bond with the NYPD 42nd Precinct. In addition, NYJTL Capstone Events enriched the youth education experience with non-traditional forms of learning outside the classroom designed to get kids on their feet. These events included our STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) Expo, Visual Arts Showcase, and Youth Leadership Summit, among others.

NYJTL believes that the life skills gained through our tennis and education programs are a catalyst for long-term achievement! Every program, activity and event is designed to enable under-resourced children in New York City to grow with the game and to set them on a pathway of success.

Looking Back – 2019

We coordinated with Nike to give five NYJTL girls the chance of a lifetime to meet Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka, Madison Keys, Simona Halep, and Sloane Stephens during Nike’s Queens of the Future event.  The inaugural NYJTL Bronx Open afforded 85 NYJTL kids the chance to get up close and personal with the world’s best professional tennis players as ball kids.

Our flagship, The Cary Leeds Center for Tennis & Learning greeted more than 15,000 guests through their doors this year and hosted the NYJTL Mayor’s Cup, the NY Empires, the NYJTL Bronx Open, and the US Open Junior Qualifying Tournament, on top of dozens of local and national junior tournaments.  The Cary Leeds Center welcomed First Book and Disney to distribute 20,000 free books to the community and partnered with Tie Break Tens to host a tiebreak tournament and fly out eight lucky juniors to the BNP Paribas Tournament in Indian Wells.

Looking Ahead – 2020

NYJTL is thankful to work with the NY Open again this year to bring our ACES and Community Tennis Program children to see world-class tennis at this 250k International men’s tournament!

Meet One of Our Kids! 

Meet 11-year-old Rachel Breland (third from the left), the Community Tennis Program’s Holiday Tournament 14s winner!  Rachel’s three older brothers also played in CTP and are now coaches. Rachel plays year-round in our CTP program and has shown incredible growth both on and off the court.

Take two minutes to see our 2019 highlight slideshow featuring NYJTL kids!

Take a deeper dive and view this year’s Annual Report to learn more about how NYJTL enables kids to Grow With The Game!

Up Next:

What We’re Reading:

Women’s Professional Tennis to Return to Bronx

NYJTL to Host Pre-US Open Tournament at Cary Leeds Center

 

For immediate release

 

NEW YORK (June 17, 2019) – New York Junior Tennis & Learning will host the NYJTL Bronx Open, a WTA International level women’s professional tournament offering $250,000 in prize money at the Cary Leeds Center for Tennis & Learning in the Bronx from August 16-24, 2019.

“We are thrilled to welcome women’s professional tennis back to the Bronx after a seven-year break during the construction of the Cary Leeds Center, “said NYJTL CEO George Guimaraes. “The WTA and the USTA have both stepped up to make this a world-class tournament to serve as the players’ final preparation for the US Open which starts two days after our final.”

The NYJTL Bronx Open will be the only WTA tournament during the week prior to the US Open and will feature a 48-singles qualifying and 30-player main draw plus a 16-team doubles draw.

WTA CEO and Chairman Steve Simon stated, “We look forward to bringing the WTA Tour to the Bronx this season, providing our world class athletes the opportunity to compete at the new state of the art Cary Leeds Center.”

“The Bronx looks forward to the return of women’s professional tennis to our community,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “This tournament will inspire the next generation of future sports stars to pick up a racket and get out to play in the new Cary Leeds Center in Crotona Park. We are grateful to NYJTL for everything you do as a partner in the community, and we thank the WTA for bringing the world’s best players to the Bronx.”

“NYJTL previously promoted one WTA Challenger and more than 15 USTA Pro Circuit professional tennis tournaments in Crotona Park from 1993-2012,” explained NYJTL Tournament Director Joe Ceriello.

“While temporary facilities were constructed each year in the past, this year the $26.5-million Cary Leeds Center will provide a world-class facility with two stadium courts and access to a total of 20 additional courts,” he continued. “The Cary Leeds Center also includes a two-story, 12,000-square-foot clubhouse with classrooms, and the Victor Kiam Stadium and the Pershing Square Stadium create an up-close and intimate tennis viewing experience.”

“Introducing new people to the sport of tennis and opening up our doors to the community is our life’s work,” said Liezel Huber, seven-time Grand Slam Champion and Executive Director of Tennis at the Cary Leeds Center.

NYJTL is the largest tennis and education non-profit in the nation committed to creating the ultimate aspirational experience for thousands of New York City children served through its programs.

The tournament has received generous support from Platinum sponsors RBC (Royal Bank of Canada), the United States Tennis Association, Gold sponsors USTA Eastern, Taste of Tennis, and Deborah Larkin and Larry Leeds, who co-founded the Heroes Circle for individual contributors. Media and broadcast sponsors include the Tennis Channel and Vector Media.

Learn more at https://www.nyjtl.org/nyjtl-bronx-open/

About New York Junior Tennis & 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.

In June 2015, the $26.5 million Cary Leeds Center for Tennis & Learning opened its doors as the flagship home of NYJTL in the heart of the Bronx.  In April 2017, the Cary Leeds Center completed its final phase of construction with the opening of the Pershing Square Stadium, the Victor Kiam Stadium, and the Dalia and Larry Leeds Viewing Bridge.  The Cary Leeds Center provides more than 6,000 hours of free tennis court time annually to the community’s under resourced youth.

Contact: Joe Ceriello
jceriello@nyjtl.org
(917) 693-6672

Art In Motion: #WATCHMEWORK

There’s no stopping ACES Afterschool Participants when it comes to creativity, and the kids held nothing back for the Fourth Annual Visual Arts Showcase, Art In Motion: #WATCHMEWORK.

The showcase was held on June 11, 2019 at the CUNY York College Milton C. Bassin Performing Arts Center, a location that holds great significance as it represents a bright future for the students in higher education. The event offers an opportunity for teachers, friends, family, and the students themselves to celebrate their achievements during the school year, embark on a creative journey and explore what it means to be an NYJTL artist.

For the first time, the showcase also honored staff achievements during the NYJTL “SUPER ACE” award ceremony. NYJTL staff members who demonstrate strong leadership skills and moral character were recognized as role models for both their peers and the students.

Though NYJTL is a tennis and education-based organization, leaders strive to instill in their students the passion for creativity and learning that goes beyond the court and the classroom.

New York Empire Sets Roster at 2019 World TeamTennis

Cary Leeds Center for Tennis & Learning to Host Home Matches for World TeamTennis Franchise


NEW YORK (March 12, 2019)
– The New York Empire presented by Citi and head coach Luke Jensen today announced its player roster and new venue for the upcoming 2019 World TeamTennis (WTT) season. The fourth-year WTT franchise will play its home matches at Cary Leeds Center for Tennis & Learning, a world-class facility in the Bronx, and the flagship home to New York Junior Tennis & Learning (NYJTL).

At the WTT draft in Indian Wells, Calif., the Empire protected 6-foot-10 ace specialist, John Isner. The 2018 Wimbledon semifinalist will play his eighth season of WTT and third with the Empire. He’s currently the No. 9 ranked player in the world and is second all-time in aces served on any surface.

Holding the first pick of this season’s WTT draft, the Empire chose Kirsten Flipkens, from Belgium, who will make her return to the Empire roster after sitting out the 2018 WTT season. Flipkens, a former World No. 13 and Wimbledon semifinalist, is no stranger to team tennis as she’s played a remarkable 16 years of Fed Cup action for her native country. This will be her second season playing in WTT.

With the Empire’s second-round pick, the team selected 20-year-old American Ulises Blanch. A former world No. 2 ranked junior, Blanch won his first career ATP Challenger Tour title in Perugia, Italy in 2018, not dropping a single set en route to victory. The 6’3” Blanch, who was a semifinalist in Boys’ Singles at Wimbledon in 2016, will bring a fresh, youthful look to the Empire’s men’s singles position.

Neal Skupski, the current No. 34 ranked doubles player, is returning to the Empire for his fourth consecutive season and will again serve as the team’s doubles specialist. In 2018, Skupski played 110 games of men’s doubles and 114 games of mixed doubles, serving up 26 aces along the way.

WTA Tour veteran, Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez, achieved a career-high doubles ranking of No. 4 in the world in 2010 and has won 18 tour doubles titles and five in singles. After being named WTT’s Female Rookie of the Year in 2018, Martinez Sanchez returns as a member of the team’s successful mixed doubles pairing with Skupski.

“We wanted to pick a team of players who could play in this format, which is fast, furious and pressure-packed,” said Jensen. “We wanted to protect our veteran players and we did that with Flip. When you get the highest ranked WTA player available, you’ve got an anchor. To fill the rest of the roster with successful, veteran tour players and then to go young with Ulises is just really exciting. He’s got a lot of firepower and he will learn from our other veteran players.”

With both new and familiar faces on the roster, the Empire is moving to a new home this summer. In June 2015, the $26.5 million Cary Leeds Center for Tennis & Learning opened its doors in the heart of the Bronx. The Cary Leeds Center provides more than 6,000 hours of free tennis court time annually to the community’s under resourced youth. Last year more than 15,000 players walked through its doors for play and programming.

“We are delighted to work with New York Empire of WTT to provide aspirational experiences for our juniors, bring in a dynamic event for the community to enjoy and utilize the world-class Victor Kiam Stadium at the Cary Leeds Center,” said George Guimaraes, NYJTL CEO & President.

The New York Empire will kick off the 2019 schedule with five home matches during the season’s first eight days, hosting the San Diego Aviators on opening day, Sunday, July 14. The Empire face expansion franchise, the Vegas Rollers, on July 16 ahead of the Orange County (Calif.) Breakers on July 18 and Washington (D.C.) Kastles on July 19. The first homestand comes to a close on July 21 against the second of two new WTT teams, the Orlando Storm.

The Empire’s home slate closes out with matches on Monday, July 29 against the Springfield (Mo.) Lasers and Tuesday, July 30 when the Philadelphia Freedoms visit.

New York Empire Schedule (home matches in bold)

Date

Sunday, July 14
Tuesday, July 16
Wednesday, July 17
Thursday, July 18
Friday, July 19
Saturday, July 20
Sunday, July 21
Tuesday, July 23
Wednesday, July 24
Thursday, July 25
Saturday, July 27
Monday, July 29
Tuesday, July 30
Wednesday, July 31

Opponent

San Diego Aviators
Vegas Rollers
at Springfield (Mo.) Lasers
Orange County (Calif.) Breakers
Washington (D.C.) Kastles
at Washington (D.C.) Kastles
Orlando Storm
at Vegas Rollers
at Orange County (Calif.) Breakers
at San Diego Aviators
at Orlando Storm
Springfield (Mo.) Lasers
Philadelphia Freedoms
at Philadelphia Freedoms

New York Empire Roster (Franchise Players in bold)

Name
Ulises Blanch
John Isner
Kirsten Flipkens
Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez
Neal Skupski

WTT Season

1st
9th
2nd
2nd
5th

Nationality

USA
USA
BEL
ESP
GBR

It promises to be an animated affair when the Empire face the Washington Kastles during a home-and-home match series on Friday, July 20 and Saturday, July 21 as New York Head Coach Luke Jensen will face his brother, Murphy, the longtime coach of the Kastles. During their playing days, the Jensens displayed their popular brand of “Rock and Roll Tennis” on their way to a world No. 6 ranking and multiple ATP doubles titles.

New York Empire tickets will start as low as $10 for children age 16-and-under, and $25 for adults. The New York Empire offers both reserved box seats and general admission seating, along with hospitality packages, which include food and beverage service. A limited number of VIP tables are also available.

Season tickets and hospitality packages are available now by emailing info@nyempiretennis.com or calling the New York Empire office at (844) 5-EMPIRE (844-536-7473). Individual match tickets will go on-sale this spring.

 

For more information on the New York Empire, visit www.NYEmpireTennis.com. For more information on World TeamTennis, visit www.WTT.com.

Follow the New York Empire on Instagram: instagram.com/NYEmpireTennis; Twitter: twitter.com/NYEmpireTennis; and like on Facebook: www.facebook.com/NYEmpireTennis

For more information on World TeamTennis, visit www.WTT.com.

###

About New York Empire:

The New York Empire presented by Citi competes in the World TeamTennis League. WTT is in its 44th season as the innovative leader in professional team tennis competition. Team matches consist of five sets, with one set each of men’s and women’s singles, men’s and women’s doubles, and mixed doubles. One point is awarded for each game won and overall match scoring is cumulative. The Presenting Sponsor of the New York Empire is Citi. Official Sponsors include Bloomberg, Empire BlueCross BlueShield HealthPlus, Deborah Slaner Larkin, NYU Langone Health and USTA Eastern.

 

About Citi:

Citi, the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management.

Additional information may be found at www.citigroup.com | Twitter: @Citi | YouTube:www.youtube.com/citi | Blog: http://blog.citigroup.com | Facebook: www.facebook.com/citi | LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/citi

About World TeamTennis (WTT)

World TeamTennis showcases the best in professional tennis with the innovative team format co-founded by Billie Jean King in the 1970s. Recognized as the leader in professional team tennis competition, WTT features many of the world’s best players competing annually for the King Trophy, the League’s championship trophy named after King. Since the League’s debut, virtually every major champion of the Open era has played WTT, including Andre Agassi, Venus and Serena Williams, Pete Sampras, Stefanie Graf, Andy Roddick, Kim Clijsters, Bob and Mike Bryan, Martina Hingis, Maria Sharapova, Lindsay Davenport, John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors, Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert and Naomi Osaka. WTT will kick off its 44th season in July 2019. Learn more about the history and league champions of World TeamTennis on the history page.

 

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 celebrates the diversity of the children who participate in every program, providing 3,000,000 hours of year-round programming that serves youth from all five boroughs.  During the critical summer months, NYJTL operates in 39 community tennis sites.  All NYJTL Community Tennis and Afterschool programs are offered at no cost to its participants.

 

New York Empire Media Contacts:

Chris Madigan, BZA PR on behalf of New York Empire: chrism@bzapr.com; 203.918.1652

Colin Bradley, BZA PR on behalf of New York Empire: colinb@bzapr.com; 860.490.2710