A tennis player has returned back to the area where he honed his game to announce that he has started a fund to help younger people who want to be led down the road to success.
According to The Associated Press, tennis player, Frances Tiafoe was at a clinic for younger players at the venue where he once played to obtain the skills he still uses today in his profession. While at the Junior Tennis Champions Center (JTCC), located in College Park, Maryland, he announced the launch of The Frances Tiafoe Fund. The self-titled fund is being down in conjunction with the USTA Foundation, which is the charitable arm of the sport’s national federation.
He expressed how he has wanted to do this for some time now as he wants to help people.
“I’ve wanted to do this for a long time. It’s something I’ve always been passionate about. I love people. I love helping people,” the tennis player stated. “I’m a product of this place. I’m a guy who was given a chance — who wouldn’t have really had one — and look what I was able to do with it. I feel like more people need to be given that, especially in this area, and especially people who look like me. I know how much influence I have in this area, so I’m happy to start it here in D.C.”
The Frances Tiafoe Fund has gotten off to a magnificent start as it already has grants totaling $250,000 from the USTA Foundation and one of Tiafoe’s sponsors.
After emigrating from Sierra Leone, his father helped build the park and did maintenance work after it was constructed. This is where he and his twin brother, Franklin learned how to play tennis.
“This place was built in ’99. I’ve been here ever since. I’ve been here my whole life. I’ve played on these courts numerous times. I’ve spent so much time with some of these coaches, these mentors, people who have been here 20-plus years. They’ve seen my whole rise and see me where I am today,” said Tiafoe. “All these little kids who come and see me — it’s to be in the position to inspire people, and I wanted to be in a position to actually have an impact and not just sign autographs.”
Tiafoe is slated to compete in the joint ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals)-WTA (Women’s Tennis Association) hard-court tournament in Washington, D.C. next week (the Mubadala City DC Open).