March 18, 2013
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- During its Spring Break trip to Florida, the Navy women's tennis team took some time to host a clinic at the MaliVai Washington Foundation in Jacksonville, Fla. The MaliVai Washington Kids Foundation promotes academic achievement and positive life skills in Jacksonville youth through the game of tennis. Washington is a former professional that reached the 1996 Wimbledon Championship.
Founded by and named after the 1996 Wimbledon finalist, the foundation provides an athletic and educational after school outlet for youths in the Jacksonville area. In its brief existence, over 14,000 youths have taken part in some aspect of the foundation's programs. Washington has earned several accolades for his work with the youth of Jacksonville, including winning the Arthur Ashe Humanitarian Of The Year Award in 2009.
The Navy women's tennis team worked with three different groups of kids. One group of both boys and girls with age range of 8-10 years old, another group of middle school girls age range 13-14 and another mixed group 12-15 years old. Each session started with team captain Stefanie Ton (Sr. / Milpitas, Calif.) speaking about the Naval Academy and its structure and purpose, followed by questions from each group. The coaching staff and players were also given the opportunity to share their experiences and to impart words of encouragement.
Each group loved the plebe class demonstration of "chow calls" during the Q&A session. The youngster group was given a chance to play against team members in a game of "around the world" in which the Navy Players did PRT push ups for lost points.
"It was a very inspiring and worthwhile endeavor for our team. The smiles and energy given off was infectious. It felt good to have an opportunity to make a difference in the life of a young person," said Navy head coach Keith Puryear.
Navy wrapped up its Spring Break trip with a 3-0 mark and owns a 16-3 overall record with a 14-match winning streak, entering a match with Delaware on March 21 in Annapolis.
# GO NAVY #