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RFA, Subaru changing lives at Indian Center

July 18, 2014 12:12 PM
April Tsosie is flanked by CYTF Executive Director Fritz Garger and Subaru of America's Tony Graziano.
The Denver Indian Center is offering tennis to campers, thanks to Racquets For All and Subaru.

Once you’ve put a racquet in the hands of a child and engaged them in tennis, you’ve altered a life. It’s as simple as that. 

Thanks in part to Subaru of America, Official Vehicle of USTA Colorado, youth at the Denver Indian Center are experiencing tennis first hand this summer as a part of the Center’s eight-week summer camp program. Subaru donated forty new racquets — sized just right for kids — to the Center. 

“It was terrific seeing the kids have such a great time and being exposed to a wonderful sport,” said Tony Graziano, Regional Vice President of Subaru of America, Inc. “Subaru is proud to play a small role in getting tennis racquets in the hands of kids throughout Colorado,” he went on to say. 

In 2013, Subaru donated 400 new youth racquets to the Colorado Youth Tennis Foundation’s Racquets for All program and then followed things up with more this year as part of their continued partnership with USTA Colorado. Through Racquets for All, equipment is disbursed to those in need. 

“The racquet donation means a lot to us,” said April Tsosie, Youth Program Coordinator at the Denver Indian Center (read more about April in HighFIVE,). “A lot of times, we get things donated that are broken or used, so to have that donation of new racquets shows all of the kids that they are valued here – that there’s an investment in them and their interest in tennis,” she went on to say.

And, interest in tennis, which is not a traditional sport in the Native American culture, is growing. “There is a group of young boys who go play tennis on a regular basis now. They play for hours,” said Tsosie. 

Subaru’s generosity opens the door for future tennis programing at the Denver Indian Center. Tsosie is looking at the possibility of getting the Elders out to play with the youth, which she sees as a fantastic opportunity for the young and old to interact with one another. 

“We’re delighted to see tennis taking off at the Denver Indian Center,” said Fritz Garger, USTA Colorado executive director. “Our staff and Diversity and Inclusion committee members have collaborated to foster the type of tennis programming we’re seeing at the Center. We’ve had ties to the Native American community and to see this come to fruition like it is at the Center is incredible. It’s great to see things developing in this way,” he said. “Thanks are in order for a host of people who care about the kids and the community in general.”

 

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