USPTA Hosts ATA for Althea Gibson Experience

Lake Nona, FL – On July 26, 2022, the USPTA welcomed the American Tennis Association (ATA) to its World Headquarters for the Althea Experience. Founded in Washington, D.C., in 1916, with its mission to elevate black tennis, the ATA is the oldest and longest-running African American sports organization in the country.

The evening began with an intimate reception, where distinguished guests enjoyed food and drinks and were able to mingle with USPTA staff as well as other attendees and their families. Following the reception, guests gathered to view the Althea documentary and partake in a Q&A. Among the evening’s crowd were Roxanne Aaron, ATA President, and Marisa Grimes, USTA Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer.

“This is an amazing opportunity for people to learn more about Althea Gibson, the history, her legacy,” said Marisa Grimes. “I’m so happy that the USPTA and the ATA were able to pull this event together, really to expose people more to the history of tennis, particularly within the black community, which doesn’t often get the recognition and celebration it should have.”

“I’m really excited to be here tonight,” said Roxanne Aaron. “It’s important for us to bring folks over from the ATA to showcase our partnership with the USPTA and especially to be showing the film about Althea Gibson.”

The USPTA and ATA collaboration began in January of 2021, when the USPTA announced it would partner with the American Tennis Association to provide extensive educational opportunities to ATA coaches. When asked about the importance of the relationship between the ATA and the USPTA Aaron said, “The leadership that USPTA CEO, John Embree, has shown is going to continue to increase the awareness of the importance of African Americans becoming certified tennis professionals.”

About the ATA: With a mission to develop, promote, and showcase opportunities through tennis in diverse communities, the ATA strives to be the leading diverse adult tennis organization that promotes the education, health, and wellness of under-served youth and to create the next generation of tennis heroes and community leaders.

About the USPTA: Founded in 1927, the USPTA is the global leader in tennis-teacher certification and professional development. With more than 14,000 members worldwide and 17 divisions nationwide, the association’s mission is to raise the standards of tennis-teaching professionals and coaches and to promote a greater awareness of the sport.