ORLANDO, FL, USA -- Sloane Stephens is spending her off season giving back. After being recently named USTA’s first National Excellence Program ambassador, Stephens flew down to Orlando last week to host a three-day training camp for the country’s top juniors of color.?
Hosted by the Sloane Stephens Foundation and USTA, the camp “provides young players of ethnically diverse backgrounds an opportunity to improve their tennis skills in a camp environment with players of similar age and skills,” according to a press release.
“These last three days at the [Sloane Stephens Foundation] camp have been more than I could have hoped for,” Stephens shared in a Twitter post.?
“Getting to know all of the kids and their parents, see them play, hear their stories, and watch them learn, has filled my heart. I am so proud of everyone who helped bring this to life.”
According to Stephens, the kids selected were top juniors of color from across the country who had missed out on USTA funding and grants. She had taken part in camps like this as a child, and wanted the next generation to have the same experience.
The juniors and their parents spent three days at the USTA National Campus in Lake Nona, Orlando. The juniors trained on green clay and red clay, running drills with Stephens and her coach Kamau Murray to improve their tennis skills on the court, with cameos from Madison Keys and others. Off the court, the kids and parents received mentorship and classroom? education sessions.
“I hope that these kids are able to take friendships and knowledge from this week into the rest of their careers and lives,” Stephens added on Twitter.?
“I can’t wait to continue to grow this program and give more kids more opportunities.”
Check out more photos from the 2019 Sloane Stephens Foundation High Performance Invitational Diversity Training Camp – Camp A.C.E. at USTA National Campus in Orlando, Florida: