A’s & Aces provides assistance to New Orleans public school children and other populations who have historically lacked access to quality educational support and tennis. We operate through the support of volunteers, partners, donors and philanthropic foundations, and use social entrepreneurship to promote sustainable educational equity (academic and physical), diversity and systematic social change.
Chase's ReturnTheServe is a big hit
On July 14th, about 80 A's & Aces summer campers together with their coaches and volunteers celebrated the annual Return The Serve event sponsored by JPMorgan Chase & Co. (Chase). As part of its commitment to the communities in which they serve, Chase provides $100,000 across ten key markets to local youth tennis and education programs. A’s & Aces is a beneficiary of this donation, and as such, received a $10,000 grant for our youth to have opportunities to learn and grow from the sport. Chase promotes the platform on their social media #ReturnTheServe. Click here to see more photos, and here for the NOLA.com article and photos.
A's & Aces' President Receives
2017 Zurich Classic
Community Impact Award
Zurich Insurance honored two community leaders on Sunday for their work to improve the lives of children in New Orleans. Dr. Anna Monhartova, A's & Aces co-founder, and Chuck Roth, executive director of Boys Hope Girls Hope New Orleans, were this year's recipients of the Zurich Classic Community Impact Award. The awards were presented on Sunday April 30 at the packed auditorium of the Roosevelt Hotel immediately following a presentation by former NYC Mayor, Michael Bloomberg.
Click here to watch Zurich's 3 min video describing A's & Aces and highlighting Chris Brown as a student-athlete.
A's & Aces Seleted NJTL Chapter of the Year
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November Gala is a "Smashing Success"
Our annual fundraiser ("A Simply Smashing Night") was hosted by Frances & Calvin Fayard at their beautiful St. Charles Ave "Wedding Cake" home on November 17. About 200 attendees bid on a large variety of auction items while enjoying great food, wine and friends.
Honored guest, Mayor M Landrieu, recognized A's & Acess kids who had won special Awards: the 2016 10 & U Boy's and Girls State Claycourt Singles Champions, 2016 Metro Middle School Team Chamnpions, 2016 Arthur Ashe Essay Constest Louisiana Best Essay Winner, and USTA National Student-Athlete Competition winners in both Boys Elementary School and Boys Middle School divisions.
Crescent City Open Beats Rain!
On June 29, A's & Aces hosted 50 young players in the Crescent City Open, the first of three summer USTA sanctioned tournaments at Joe Brown Park. View 8s Red Ball and 12s Green Ball division results here, and 10s Orange and Green Ball results here.
These tournaments are designed as one-day Youth Progression Pathway tournaments with level 6 events (non-ranking, 8s and 12s) and level 5 (10s Orange and Green Ball earn ranking points) divisions that are appropriate for rallying beginners playing their first tournament and intermediate-level competitors eager to gain experience. The tournaments are open to all USTA members. Free USTA memberships are available for first time 10 & unders here. Links for upcoming tournaments are below.
Four Camps Teaching "A's" and "Aces" Excellence
A's & Aces is one of the 12 USTA National Junior Tennis & Learning designated "Excellence Teams" across the nation, named the "Mike McNulty Excellence Team."
In partnership with the New Orleans Recreation Development Commission (NORDC), A's & Aces provides 7-week Literacy and Tennis camps at Dillard University, Atkinson-Stern Tennis Center, and Joe Brown Park. In addition, we also host a Tournament Training Camp at the University of New Orleans throughout June and July. In total, over 140 campers ages 7-16 are learning on the courts and in the classrooms. For instance, all campers draft, edit, refine, and submit compositions to the USTA NJTL Essay Contest. In each of the last several years, a camper has won a trip to New York or Winston-Salem to attend an ATP professional tennis tournament.
NORDC campers participate in several local field trips, swimming, and special activities, and many compete in the three A's & Aces-hosted USTA sanctioned Youth Progression Pathway tournaments with 8s, 10s, and 12s divisions at Joe Brown Park this summer.
Six Tournament Training players will travel with two coaches to College Park, MD, where they will represent A's & Aces at the USTA National Excellence Teams 10 & under competition. They will also tour Washington, DC monuments and have an opportunity to watch some top world-ranked pros compete at the Citi Open . Three older Tournament Training campers will travel to Atlanta for the Southern Tennis Association NJTL Leadership Camp at Georgia Tech. In additional to tennis and workshops on the college campus, they will attend the BB&T Atlanta Open pro tournament, tour CNN and watch an exhibition featuring Venus Williams.
Early in June, the Camp at UNO welcomed USTA Player Development Coach, Johnny Parkes. He worked individually with several of our players, and helped coaches and volunteers, including A's & Aces' Head Coach A.J. Varnado, Caitlin Casey, Alan Green, Xavier University Head Coach, and Naz Karagoz (Tulane's #1 Women's player), whose father (the Turkish FED Cup Captain) also visited the camp.
A's & Aces 2017 November Tournaments
In partnership with the New Orleans Recreation Development Commission (NORDC), A's & Aces holds 5 USTA junior tournaments in 2017 at the Joe Brown Tennis Center. For details or to register, click the links associated with each tournament.
NEW 10 & U Tennis Youth Progression Pathway System
The USTA Southern section (including Louisiana) has adopted new 10&U Tennis Youth Progression Pathway System. This system for play began on January 1, 2017 for all current 10U players.
Click here for detailed info about how children ages 7-10 will earn virtual stars and trophies in order to progress from the Orange 2 level, to the Orange 1 level, and then to the final level, Green level 1. This Pathway will determine eligibility to enter 12 & U tournaments prior to age 11. Read Frequently Asked Questions here.
Excellence Team Trains at USTA Orange Bowl Event
As one of the 11 USTA NJTL Chapters to earn the Excellence Team designation, A's & Aces was selected to participate in the age 11-14 Excellence Teams Jr. Orange Bowl Workout in Key Biscayne, Florida. Four of our top players who met the Excellence Teams goals and criteria, Chris Brown, Nick Crockens, Jude Edwards and Troy Houston, traveled with Coach A.J. Varnado and participated in this special “Earned Advancement” opportunity on Dec 8-10.
Tennis Life Skills Academics
Some may, initially, think that tennis is "just a game" and is the least important component of A's & Aces' tripartite mission. Actually, tennis is the key. It unlocks barriers. Sports-Based Youth Development is recognized as an unparalleled way to engage underserved, disadvantaged, and minority populations. While character developing life-skills and academic support are critical to having successful, productive lives, the sport of tennis also provides the ability to build social, academic and career networks through playing a fun, life-long, global, non-contact, co-ed, team and individual sport. This provides incredible benefits to our participants - and for society.
“Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair. It is more powerful than government in breaking down racial barriers. It laughs in the face of all kinds of discrimination.”
– Nelson Mandela, May 25, 2000
– Nelson Mandela, May 25, 2000