USTA 'Joining Forces'
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — The USTA announced today its commitment to support “Joining Forces,” an effort led by First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, to mobilize all sectors of society to give United States service members and their families the opportunities and support they have earned. This national initiative, which will highlight issues that are of special importance to military families, including the areas of employment, education and wellness, will be announced at the White House by Mrs. Obama today.
The USTA will introduce 4,000 National Guard and Reserve members and families to tennis through festivals at Yellow Ribbon pre-deployment events to help reduce stress and encourage social interaction within the service members’ local communities.
The USTA also will work with the Department of Veterans Affairs and local VA hospitals to expand tennis programs providing recreational and physical rehabilitation opportunities therapeutic and family cohesion support to veterans, their families, caregivers and survivors.
Additionally, USTA Tennis on Campus will work with Joining Forces to create awareness by welcoming back and engaging student veterans and help support those veterans transition to civilian life. Initial plans call for 50 colleges and universities to take part in this program by the end of 2011. The USTA will work with Student Veterans of America to implement these programs.
“The USTA is honored to be supporting Joining Forces and to be working with First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden on this major initiative,” said USTA Chairman of the Board and President, Jon Vegosen. “We look forward to utilizing tennis to bring the welcoming spirit of our communities, the benefits of healthy mental and physical well-being and needed stress reduction tools to our men and women in uniform and their families.”
Over the past two years, the USTA has expanded its outreach to military service members, veterans, and their families, especially in the areas of physical well-being and stress reduction. With its on-going efforts and this new association with Joining Forces, the USTA expects to impact more than 100,000 military personnel, veterans and their families over the course of 2011.
Earlier this year, the USTA teamed up with Mrs. Obama and the Let’s Move! campaign to encourage young people across the country to get active, try tennis and lead healthy lifestyles. Components of the collaboration include a new public service announcement that is airing nationwide, the construction and renovation of thousands of tennis courts across the country and the commitment to encourage 200,000 children to participate in the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award.
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