“We must believe in the power of education. We must respect just laws. We must love ourselves, our old and or young, our women as well as our men.” – Arthur Ashe
Ms. Dyane Jones’ involvement with the Arthur Ashe Foundation started with her daughter’s interest in tennis which later grew into a desire to help promote the legacy of Arthur Ashe, the only African American player ever to win the men’s singles title at Wimbledon.
Each year, on the Saturday before the US Open there is a day designated to expose children to tennis called, Arthur Ashe Kids Day. Sponsored by Hess, with assistance from the USTA, Arthur Ashe Kids Day brings tennis instructors, players, and volunteers from all walks of life together at the USTA Bill Jean National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadow Park in Flushing, New York.
The purpose of the event is to provide tennis instruction, interactive tennis activities, and entertainment to young children in recognition the life and legacy of Arthur Ashe, who was a proponent for social change and urban education before his death.
Below is a note from Dyane Jones, a Cheyney alumna from the Class of 1972.
One year, as my preteen daughter and I stopped by the Arthur Ashe Foundation booth, my daughter had the opportunity to meet Leslie Allen, a former professional tennis player who was a 10-year Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) Tour competitor.
Ms. Leslie Allen invited my daughter, Courtney, to attend a meeting for the Win4Life mentoring program sponsored by The Leslie Allen Foundation. She worked with young tennis players between the ages of 12 and 18 to encourage them to be successful on and off the court. Young ladies in the Win4Life program had to maintain good grades, exhibit excellent behavior, and determination and in exchange, they could attend trips to learn about the numerous opportunities behind the scenes in pro sports, meet professional tennis players, and received tennis instruction from Leslie Allen.
My daughter was recruited by Ms. Leslie Allen to volunteer at the Arthur Ashe Foundation booth each summer as a teenager and after my daughter graduated from college and relocated to another state, I began to volunteer with Ms. Leslie Allen at the Arthur Ashe Foundation booth. This was my way of saying “Thank you” to Ms. Leslie Allen for her untiring assistance in encouraging my daughter and other young people to broaden their horizons through tennis and the importance of education.
It has been an esteemed honor to promote the legacy of the greatest male tennis player and humanitarian, Arthur Ashe, as a volunteer at the Arthur Ashe Foundation Booth and I would recommend it to any Cheyney alumnus in the New York area who is interested in assisting developing student-athletes.
About Arthur Ashe
Arthur Ashe was born on July 10, 1943 in Richmond, Virginia and is remembered for his excellence as a tennis player as well as his efforts to further social causes. He remains the only African American player ever to win the men’s singles title at Wimbledon, the Australian Open or the US Open. His legacy continues to have a positive effect on our society. On June 20, 1993, Ashe was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Former President Bill Clinton.