Norwalk Boy Wins National Tennis Essay Contest

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From left to right: Barbara Wynn, Arthur Ashe Essay Contest Founder; Torianh Blakes, boys 11-12 winner; David Dinkins, former Mayor of New York City; and Dan Limbago, USTA Foundation Programs & Services National Manager.
From left to right: Barbara Wynn, Arthur Ashe Essay Contest Founder; Torianh Blakes, boys 11-12 winner; David Dinkins, former Mayor of New York City; and Dan Limbago, USTA Foundation Programs & Services National Manager. Photo Credit: Jen Pottheiser, USTA

NORWALK, Conn. -- Torianh Blakes of Norwalk was named as one of 10 winners in the 16th annual NJTL Arthur Ashe Essay contest.

USTA Foundation, the national charitable organization of the United States Tennis Association, announced the winners, who range in age from 10 to 18. They were selected out of nearly 2,600 entries submitted last month. Blakes won the category for 11- and 12-year olds.

He received round-trip transportation to New York City for himself and a parent/guardian. The trip also a two-night stay at the Grand Hyatt 42nd Street; tickets to New York’s critically acclaimed theatrical show “THE RIDE,” and a Circle Line Liberty Cruise sightseeing tour. He also received VIP status in the President’s Box during the 2014 Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day last Saturday at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

A sixth-grader at Nathan Hale Middle School, Blakes has been a participant of Norwalk Grassroots Tennis for five years and is a member of the organization’s U12 Junior Team Tennis program.

To enter the contest, children were asked to write an essay of 350 words or less, responding to a specific question about Arthur Ashe and his accomplishments. A USTA subcommittee selected the winning essays based on knowledge of Ashe, message clarity and writing style.

In January 2014, the USTA Foundation, formally USTA Serves, combined with USTA NJTL, a national network of 630 community-based tennis and education programs serving more than 330,000 youth, to become a fully operational foundation.

This marks the 20th anniversary of the USTA Foundation and the 45th anniversary of NJTL, which was founded by Arthur Ashe, Charlie Pasarell and Sheridan Snyder.

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