Denver, Colo. youth got the experience of a lifetime last week when they participated in a tennis clinic featuring former world No. 1 and International Tennis Hall of Famer John McEnroe. The seven-time Grand Slam singles champion was in the Mile High City for a fundraiser for the scholarship program at Denver Tennis Park, a non-profit organization which provides tennis to under-resourced youth.

McEnroe starred on court with more than a dozen young tennis players in a clinic last Friday, and was the headliner of the organization's Raise a Racquet Charity Bash on Saturday, which featured live music from McEnroe's Johnny Smyth Band.

McEnroe spoke to a crowded room about the importance of tennis as a tool for youth development, and the event also included a live auction. Attendees had the opportunity to bid on one-of-a-kind tennis experiences and items, including tickets to Wimbledon in three-time champion McEnroe's seats.

Founded in 2017, DTP focuses on making tennis available to all kids, regardless their backgrounds, and using the sport as a tool to teach them life skills. The organization services elementary, middle and high school students, and proceeds from the fundraiser will help finance scholarships for students to participate in programming.


Gabriel Guillaume, the executive director of DTP, called the weekend "transformative" for the organization, saying that McEnroe's "passion and dedication to the sport not only inspired our young athletes, but it also bolstered our mission to create opportunities for Denver's youth through equitable access to tennis."

McEnroe's eponymous Johnny Mac Tennis Project, headquartered on New York City's Randall's Island, is an organization similar to DTP, and making tennis equitable to children of all backgrounds is a cause close to his heart.

“Tennis is a great lifetime sport that has given me great opportunities and a lot to be thankful for," he said. "That is why I am so passionate about my Johnny Mac Tennis project and working to support youth development organizations like the Denver Tennis Park.”