New York Junior Tennis & Learning (NYJTL) and the Cary Leeds Center for Tennis and Learning celebrated the unveiling of its two new stadium courts on Sunday on a beautiful afternoon at Crotona Park in the Bronx, N.Y.
“April 9, 2017 was a joyous celebration for New York Junior Tennis & Learning and the Cary Leeds Center for Tennis & Learning as the official opening of the Pershing Square and Victor Kiam Stadium marks the completion of a ten year passion project for the organization,” said Joe Ceriello, NYJTL’s Director of Marketing. “NYJTL is primed to serve more children and expand its vision to enable children to Grow with the Game.”
The afternoon was the culmination of a decade of construction work and thanks to both private donors and public funding. There was a ribbon-cutting ceremony to reveal the two stadium courts which hold 800 spectators, followed by a cocktail reception and the kids from NYJTL took to the newly-unveiled courts to show off their skills in different drills.
“Without public parks, like we have here, I would have never made it to the top,” said Billie Jean King, who was on hand for the ceremony. “I have a younger brother and we were both parks and rec kids. It’s really important that kids have these opportunities. This program is so wonderful and has been around for so many years. This where dreams happen and where kids can get their start.”
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. was there for the ceremony and couldn’t be happier about what the program and the Cary Leeds facility is doing for his constituents.
“I’m excited about it. I believe so many future generations are going to benefit from this facility,” he said. “NYJTL did something decades ago that was unheard of in introducing tennis to kids in the Bronx and so many of them have taken to the sport. Even though I haven’t played tennis, I want to be a part of this, and that is the reason why we allocated $2 million into this facility.”
NYJTL and the Cary Leeds Center will continue to enrich kids live through tennis and education while providing not only the Bronx, but New York City, world-class courts and programming, and hopes to even bring in a professional tournament.
"With the completion of the stadium courts, NYJTL is committed to bringing back an annual professional tennis tournament" said President and CEO George Guimaraes."NYJTL is all about the kids. By 2019, our goal is for the children to see world-class tennis players who are role models for what can be achieved with hard work."
Bill Ackman, Founder and CEO of Pershing Square Capital Management, cuts the ribbon to officially open Pershing Square Court.