The Versatile Tennis Racquet

It is mind-boggling that a simple piece of athletic equipment such as the tennis racquet has and continues to symbolize versatility. It unites the races, woos crowds, acts as a collector’s item and helps raise funds for various global charities.

 

Throughout the decades, we have seen an array of athletes from different nations come together on a tennis court and demonstrate great skills and superior sportsmanship. Across the seas, families and friends gather around television sets and computers to watch tennis matches with great anticipation. Even third world countries such as Kenya have established tennis programs on make-shift courts created on dirt fields. Time and again, children have shown us one can learn how to operate a racquet at any age, anywhere.

 

To one’s surprise, the old-style wooden racquet has also become a collector’s item. From the antique racquets made in the late 1800s to the player-endorsed wooden racquets that were used during most of the 20th century, wooden racquets are collected around the world and highly sought after. The aesthetically pleasing ornate construction gives these racquets a classy and unique look. Surprisingly, these collectors’ delights can be found in consignment stores and can also be purchased on eBay. Often, wooden racquets that are autographed by tennis legends are sold at auctions and fundraisers.

 

Tennis champions have also used their celebrity status for philanthropic purposes, from Andre Agassi to Billie Jean King. Agassi and his wife Stefi Graff have helped fund charter schools in Nevada and Milwaukee. Former champion, Billie Jean King has partnered with singer Sir Elton John to raise money for AIDS charities. Since its inception, the World Team Tennis Smash Hits has raised over $10 million to benefit AIDS victims. With such charitable acts, athletes have proven that sports and humanities are compatible. Whether raising funds for children with special needs or AIDS victims, tennis stars have made a significant effort towards worthy causes.

 

Recently in Toronto, the Emirates Airlines racquet Return Program assists thousands of inner-city children acquire their own racquets. Emirates collects junior-sized racquets and donates them to thousands of Toronto’s inner-city youth every summer. The program also promotes healthy choices and physical activity by developing tennis programs in different localities. According to representative,

Peter Bedard, “The most important lesson we’ve learned is that once a kid gets an appropriate sized racquet, they can immediately begin to play and feel the excitement of tennis.”

 

The tennis racquet promotes healthy activity and self-confidence. With the advent of tennis backboards, players do not need to rely or wait for a partner to play against. Backboards help improve backhands and serves. In addition, tennis ball machines help players to improve their skill-set while providing some cardiovascular training. From preschoolers to adolescents and senior citizens, tennis is a game that can be played by anyone.

Celia Taghdiri is a freelance writer with an English/Journalism background. Her articles have been featured in the San Diego Union Tribune and various magazines. As a tennis writer, she enjoys writing about philanthropic efforts made by the tennis community.

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