| By Anthony Pastecchi
Photo credit: Anthony Pastecchi

On May 26, the USTA, in conjunction with the Queens District Attorney’s office, hosted its 13th Annual “Say Yes to Tennis, Say No to Drugs” event at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. The free event was presented to hundreds of elementary school students from schools throughout the Far Rockaways, promoting the sport of tennis in the QuickStart format.

There were many on-court activities taking place, ranging from ball-toss games to entertaining racquet skill drills. It was clear that teamwork was the primary focus as the students worked cooperatively with one another in many of the different activities. Assistance with making sure the event ran smoothly came from the coaches and volunteers of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, along with Beach Tennis USA and their interns.
Former New York City Mayor and current USTA Director-at-Large David Dinkins was present and delivered a motivational speech to all attendees and addressed the students, “You must not give into peer pressure from those around you and must never be a follower. Find that something in life that you enjoy and stick with it, it will keep you out of trouble.”

Also in attendance was the Queens District Attorney Richard Brown. The students received t-shirts and left with a sense of motivation and mindset that anything is possible if you follow your dreams.

Credit all photos to Anthony Pastecchi