Throughout this week, Tennis Channel will be in Cuba to document an unprecedented transformation of the country's National Tennis Center. It is the latest example of how tennis can be used to help change lives for the better. Throughout this week, we'll look back at some of the network's most notable efforts of giving back.
Tennis Channel CEO Ken Solomon believes that tennis has the power to make a difference in the lives of children and communities across the globe.
Back in 2010, during the French Open in Paris, he teamed up with then-U.S. Ambassador to France Charles Rivkin, Dunlop and Liberty Tennis (Tennis en Liberte), a disadvantaged youth tennis program.
The goal was to help underprivileged children in a poor Paris neighborhood learn about tennis.
“Tennis Channel called Dunlop and said, ‘Would you consider being a part?’” Solomon said. “They nearly jumped through the phone and said, ‘This is exactly what we want to do. We want to support young tennis.’”
The Tennis Channel and Dunlop donated tennis equipment to young players in Bondy; the sports manufacturer provided Liberty Tennis with racquets and balls to be used at the clinic and at future events.
“Most of these children have never held a tennis racquet in their entire lives,” Solomon said, “and the hope is that by putting a racquet in their hand once, it will give them a world of opportunity for the future.”