| By New York Tennis Magazine Staff

Entries are now open for the 14th Annual Arthur Ashe Essay & Art Contest.

Arthur Ashe was an American hero fighting battles both on and off the court. He broke barriers in the tennis world, becoming a three time grand slam champion, and the first African American male to win a grand slam tournament. Off the court, he was a social activist taking on issues like racial prejudice, AIDS, apartheid, and education. One of his many legacies includes the National Junior Tennis and Learning (“NJTL”), a network of youth serving organizations that provides tennis and education for all. His wish was for NJTL to be a resource for kids to develop skills for leadership and academic excellence. As a participant at one of the 600 NJTL chapters across the country, tell us what you think of Arthur Ashe.

Write and you could win a trip to New York City (open to all contestants age 18 and under participating in an NJTL chapter): Contestants will compete in one of the five age categories listed below. Write your answer to the question, “If Arthur Ashe were alive today, what do you think would give him hope?” in 350 words or less on one written 8.5” x11” page or less and you could be one of ten (10) national winners who win a trip for you and a parent/legal guardian to New York City. Be a VIP at Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day presented by Hess, attend a professional sporting event, see a Broadway show and receive a special award at a luncheon held in your honor. Essays must be in English and will not be returned.

Draw and you could win a trip to New York City (open to all contestants age 12 and under participating in an NJTL program): Contestants will compete in one of two age categories listed below. Draw a picture or create artwork of your answer to the question, “If Arthur Ashe were alive today, what do you think would give him hope?" and you could be one of four national winners who win a trip for you and a parent/legal guardian to New York City. Be a VIP at Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day presented by Hess, attend a professional sporting event, see a Broadway show and receive a special award at a luncheon held in your honor. Be creative, but artwork must be flat and no larger than 11” x 14”. Artwork must be in English and will not be returned.

The conmtest is open to legal residents of th 50 United States and/or D.C., 18 or younger as of June 1, 2011, who are participants in a program sponsored by a local NJTL Program/Chapter as of July 10, 2011. Visit www.usta.com/njtl for more information.

Prizes: Ten national essay winners and four national art winners will be awarded a trip for two to New York (Aug. 24-26) and will be guests at the 2012 Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day presented by Hess on Aug. 25 (ARV: $1,600.00 each).

The deadline for entries, including completed entry form, must be submitted online to the USTA at www.usta.com/aaec or mailed or hand delivered to your local NJTL Program/Chapter between July 10, 2011 and 5:00 PM ET on June 1, 2012 (mail-in entries must be postmarked by June 1, 2012 and received by your local NJTL Program/Chapter no later than June 8, 2012). For a list of all NJTL Programs/Chapters and their addresses visit www.usta.com/njtl.