New York Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh, gymnast and Olympic gold medalist Nastia Liukin, and retired undefeated boxer Laila Ali visited the U.S. Open on Monday to be a part of an event encouraging kids to be multi-sport athletes.
The event was hosted by the United States Tennis Association, which aims to help kids begin playing sports at a young age so they can be healthy and try to find something they are passionate about. The three athletes spoke to a group of youth tennis players and then joined the kids for a demonstration.
Everyone used equipment by Wilson, which has tried to develop products that are easier for kids to use and handle. Some of this equipment includes lighter tennis racquets and tennis balls that are bigger and not quite as bouncy.
After the demonstration ended, I spoke with McDonagh, Liukin, and Ali. They all mentioned that when kids play multiple sports, they can find what they’re really passionate about and be active and healthy. Each one of them gave great recommendations on how to handle time management and how to stay healthy while having fun!
She dominated the boxing ring for eight years, but yesterday Laila Ali traded in her gloves for a tennis racquet. The former Super Middleweight World Champion delivered a knockout message about staying active and maintaining a healthy lifestyle at a US Open event Monday. Her stop in Queens, New York, helped kick off the United States Tennis Association’s free tennis events during National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month.
The USTA is organizing free tennis events around the country this month to motivate families and get them moving. Ali took advantage of Monday’s event to encourage kids to participate in sports.
“I understand the importance of making sports accessible and fun for kids. Children today are likely to live shorter and less healthy lives than their parents. The USTA is trying to change that,” Ali said. “I’m here today to make sure kids know that being active is important and it’s cool.”
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