Fila and USTA Foundation Collaborate to Launch Spirit of Tennis Scholarships
fila today announced the launch of the “Spirit of Tennis Scholarships” in support of the USTA Foundation, a pair of scholarship opportunities available to qualified students participating in the National Junior Tennis and Learning Network (NJTL) – which includes nearly 300 nonprofit youth development organizations that provide free or low-cost tennis and education programs to disadvantaged youth nationwide.
In addition to two new annual scholarships, FILA has pledged additional funds to support the USTA Foundation’s program of excellence through a dedicated player scholarship and additional product offerings for the NJTL program.
Thanks to these initiatives, fila will provide $180,000 over four years.
The Spirit of Tennis scholarships were created to provide access and opportunity for students through the NJTL network and are named in honor of the two people who helped Fila establish its roots in tennis: former President of Fila North America Jonathan G. Epstein and current Global Tennis Marketing Manager Martin Mulligan Sr.
“Fila is proud to support the USTA Foundation and continue its support of the National Junior Tennis and Learning Network (NJTL),” said Jennifer Estabrook, President of Fila North America. “The Foundation’s commitment to enabling greater access and opportunity for students across the United States is a vision we share, and we are delighted to name these scholarships in honor of two of the greatest advocates of the Fila sports.”
“The USTA Foundation is grateful to have a supporter like Fila, an exceptional mission-driven contributor, to help us continue to empower underprivileged youth through the powerful combination of tennis and education,” said Dan Faber. , CEO of the USTA Foundation. “The Spirit of Tennis scholarships will have a big impact on the future of our young NJTLs and we look forward to seeing all the great things these young leaders will accomplish on and off the court.”
The “Spirit of Tennis Scholarships” will be awarded annually to two high school students who have excellent academic standing and demonstrate good character, community leadership and sportsmanship.
Students must have participated in an organized youth tennis program and be enrolled in a four-year college or university program. Candidates must demonstrate good sportsmanship on and off the field.
Each scholar will receive $15,000 over four years to cover tuition, school expenses, and educational materials. The Foundation will award the scholarships annually until 2026 through Fila’s support of this program. Fila also pledged an additional $15,000 per year through 2026 to support NJTLs through a dedicated player grant and additional product offerings for the NJTL program. These funds will support participants in the NJTL Excellence Program through tuition, tournament entry fees and FILA products to provide young people with the opportunity to pursue their passion for the sport of tennis, which would otherwise not have maybe not the financial means to progress in the sport.
The Jonathan G. Epstein Spirit of Tennis Scholarship is named in memory of Jonathan G. Epstein, former President of Fila North America and industry leader whose passion for tennis left an indelible mark on the sport and the brand. Epstein’s entrepreneurial spirit and vision have led FILA to significant commercial success and recognition as a leader in the athletic apparel and footwear industry.
The Martin Mulligan Sr. Spirit of Tennis Scholarship is named in honor of Martin Mulligan Sr., a former top 10 professional tennis player with 72 career titles, including three Italian Opens, Wimbledon runner-up and current head of global tennis marketing at Fila. At the end of his playing career, Mulligan became Italy’s Davis Cup coach before starting his career at Fila. Mulligan also received the Golden Racquet award from the Italian Tennis Federation for his contribution to tennis. Mulligan has been recognized as an extraordinary mentor throughout his career as a player, coach and executive.
Fila has a long and distinguished history in the world of tennis which includes endorsements from ATP and WTA Tour athletes, tournaments and organizations. Fila is a sponsor of the BNP Paribas Open, Infosys Hall of Fame Open, National Bank Open & Omnium Banque Nationale, Western & Southern Open, Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, Argentine Open, Cordoba Open, Rio Open, Rakuten Japan Open, China Open and Junior Orange Bowl International Tennis Championship. In addition to event partnerships, Fila is an official supplier to Tennis Canada, the Argentine Tennis Association (AAT), Junior Tennis Champions Center (JTCC), Van der Meer Tennis and John Newcombe Tennis Ranch .
Photo credit: Fila