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Arthur Ashe Essay Contest Now Open!

March 6, 2008 07:22 PM

The 2008 Arthur Ashe Essay and Art Contest

Arthur Ashe was an American hero fighting battles both on and off the court. In his life, he broke barriers in the tennis world, becoming a three time grand slam champion, and the first African American male to win a grand slam tournament. Off the court, he was a social activist taking on issues like racial prejudice, AIDS, apartheid, and youth education. One of his many legacies includes the National Junior Tennis League (“NJTL”), a network of youth serving organizations that provides tennis and education for all. His wish was for NJTL to be a resource for kids to develop skills for leadership and academic excellence.

This year the Arthur Ashe Essay and Art Contest is aimed at getting youth to learn about Arthur Ashe’s accomplishments and offering them a chance for introspection by answering the following question:

“How do you exemplify the ideals of Arthur Ashe?”

1) Write and You Could Win (ages 18 and under only):  Eligible contestants 18 years of age and younger may answer the question “How do you exemplify the ideals of Arthur Ashe?” in one written page of 300 words or less. Essays must be in English.

2) Draw and You Could Win (ages 12 and under only): For the first time, eligible contestants 12 years of age and younger also have the option of submitting a drawing or artwork that reflects their response to the question “How do you exemplify the ideals of Arthur Ashe?” Submissions must be 2-dimensional and no larger than poster board size (22”x28”). Artwork must be in English.

Eligibility:  Contest open to boys and girls who (a) at time of entry are 18 years of age and younger and legal residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia; and (b) who are, as of February 18, 2008, participating in a program sponsored by their local NJTL Program or Chapter.  Employees, officers, directors and volunteers of the United States Tennis Association Incorporated (the “USTA”),  the USTA/NJTL, the USTA National Tennis Center Incorporated, the US Open, and their  respective parent companies, subsidiaries, and affiliates, and anyone involved in the Contest’s development or execution, the immediate families of any such employee, officer, director, volunteer or person (meaning spouse, parents, siblings, children and each of their spouses) and members of the households of any such employee, officer, director or person, are not eligible. 

Prizes: Ten national essay winners (one boy and one girl from one of five age categories: 10 and younger; 11 and 12 year olds; 13 and 14 year olds; 15 and 16 year olds; and 17 and 18 year olds) will each receive an all-expense paid trip to New York for winner and his/her parent/legal guardian.  Trip includes attendance at Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day presented by Hess, a professional sporting event and a Broadway show.  Each winner also will receive an award at a luncheon in their honor.  Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day is a day-long festival of kids’ tennis activities that includes interactive games, musical entertainment and free clinics.  Eight national art winners (12 and younger) will receive a plaque in their honor (ARV of each essay prize: $1,600 USD; ARV of each art prize: $25.00 USD).

Deadline: Each contestant must mail in or hand-deliver his/her essay or artwork along with a completed Contest Entry Form (available below or at your local NJTL Program/Chapter) to his/her local NJTL Program/Chapter (a list of addresses is available at  Mail-in entries must be postmarked on or before June 26, 2008 and received on or before 5:00 PM ET on July 3, 2008 in order to be eligible.  Hand-delivered entries must be delivered to contestant’s local NJTL Program/Chapter by 5:00 PM ET on June 26, 2008 in order to be eligible.

For more information, download the 2008 Arthur Ashe Essay and Art Contest Entry Form and Official Contest Rules.