The USTA Foundation, the national charitable arm of the United States Tennis Association, has announced that it has appointed 2017 US Open Champion and world No. 23 Sloane Stephens as the National Excellence Program Ambassador. Stephens will kick-off at the Excellence Program College Pathway Camp on Nov. 8 at the USTA National Campus in Orlando.
In her new role, Stephens will help to promote the five pillars of the Excellence Program including Individual Player Grants, Coaching Education, Activations, College Preparation support and a Team component, while supporting the USTA Foundation’s overall mission, its programs, and player success stories.
“It’s an honor to join the USTA Foundation as the National Excellence Program Ambassador. Our shared missions to change lives through tennis and education are vital to making tennis accessible and fun for many children. I’m looking forward to sharing my tennis story and pathway with all of our Excellence Team players. And I look forward to seeing the impact of our work.”
Through its partnership with USTA Player Development, the USTA Foundation Excellence Program is designed to provide underserved junior tennis players from under-resourced populations an opportunity to fulfill their coaching, equipment, tournament and travel needs at no cost. These students are high-performance tournament level players who compete at the regional, national and international levels. The program also includes a player pathway for students who participate in the National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL) network.
Stephens will participate in numerous appearances where players will have an opportunity to engage with the grand slam champion, including the annual Excellence Program College Pathways Workout this fall at the USTA National Campus in Lake Nona, Florida. During the two-day camp, Stephens will serve as the guest speaker and participate in a photo opp. with all players and coaches.
NJTL participants will also have a unique opportunity to engage with Stephens through a video conference session where they will get to ask questions and engage in dialogue on various topics related to tennis, education, competition and sportsmanship. Stephens will also participate in other multimedia platforms such as the first official NJTL Excellence Program endorsement video, while also utilizing her social media channels to bring awareness of the program’s various activations, its positive impact on the student participants, and its overall success
“Sloane is a model athlete and the ideal ambassador for our Excellence Program on and off the court,” said Dan Faber, USTA Foundation Executive Director. “Her willingness to engage with our student athletes speaks volumes and will have a lasting impact on their lives. We thank Sloane for supporting our mission and serving as our first ambassador for this incredible program.”