Every Saturday before the US Open, Arthur Ashe Kids Day brings together today’s hottest performers, celebrities, the sport’s top-talent and over 20,000 young tennis fans. ESPN records the entire show, and on Sunday, ABC airs an hour-long special featuring the day’s performances and activities.
As the stadium host, my role is to keep the fans engaged leading up to and during the taping. From red-carpet interviews to fun-filled fan interaction – I host the NJTL performance challenge giving young players a chance to compete alongside the likes of Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and the Williams sisters to earn up to $15,000 for their NJTL chapters.
What is Arthur Ashe Kids Day? From ArthurAsheKidsDay.com:
Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day is the largest single-day, grassroots tennis and entertainment event in the world, with chart-topping performers, celebrities and some of the best tennis players in the game coming together to celebrate the life and values of tennis legend and humanitarian Arthur Ashe. The event takes place the Saturday before the US Open.
A “Who’s Who?” of the tennis world has given back to the game during this fun-filled afternoon, including Andre Agassi, Kim Clijsters, Lindsay Davenport, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, John McEnroe, Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal, Andy Roddick, Maria Sharapova, Serena Williams and Venus Williams. They’ve been joined by celebrities including Alec Baldwin, Nick Cannon, John Cena, Ellen DeGeneres, Will Ferrell Tony Hawk, Randy Jackson, Matthew Morrison, and Kenan Thompson, along with First Lady Michelle Obama.
Proceeds from Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day benefit the USTA Foundation which helps fund the National Junior Tennis & Learning Network (NJTL), a nationwide group of more than 500 nonprofit youth-development organizations that provide free or low-cost tennis, education and life-skills programming to more than 225,000 children each year, founded 47 years ago by Arthur Ashe, along with Charlie Pasarell and Sheridan Snyder.