We recently attended our first Arthur Ashe Kids Day at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens, NY. My three savvies, mom and I went to explore and see what it was all about. It was wonderful to see how the legacy of tennis pro and humanitarian Arthur Ashe lives on.
Arthur Ashe is the first African American to win the men’s singles at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, and the first black American to be ranked No. 1 in the world. He also worked hard to bring tennis to inner city children and was also a strong activist.
From the moment we walked onto the grounds, we were surrounded by a variety of activities. Our first stop was the Esurance booth where we were able to get our picture taken.
From there we headed to Coca-Cola Get Fit and Play. There they had the opportunity to participate in an obstacle course. Hopping, skipping and jumping while listening to the DJ created a party atmosphere while also hitting tennis balls to end the course.
Jugglers on unicycles, magicians, hair braiding and face painting were just a few of our favorites.
We then headed to the Hess Toy Truck Mobile Museum for a little nostalgia. Collectible Hess toy trucks were on display for all to see.
The highlight of our day was the Stadium Show feauturing US Open Champions:
To see all these tennis champions at one time was so exciting. They were all so gracious to the crowd. Musical faves also entertained and the crowd went wild. American Authors, Jacob Whitesides and Natalie LaRose were some of our total favorites.
Shaun T hosted and kept the crowd engaged. Watching Novak dance with Shaun T was awesome.
In addition to dance, music and tennis, Shaun T spoke about the life of Arthur Ashe and we saw several film clips of his life. Arthur Ashe wanted all children to know the game and love it as he did.
These are his inspirational words for kids (and adults can profit from them as well):
Start where you are –
Use what you have,
Do what you can,
And have fun!
This day was just exceptional and the perfect ending was seeing the Tennis Hall of Fame as we left the grounds. It was a great learning experience. In the words of the American Authors, this definitely was one of “the best days of my life.”