for breaking news visit www.couriersun.com april 4, 2013 • The CourieR SUN 19 oped street talk As the weather finally starts to warm up, we asked people . . . What are you most looking forward to this spring? Warm weather. I’m tired of winter. Al Drattell BY TERENCE CULLEN When I used to garden, I looked forward to the spring flowers and I still do. Edith Goldman I guess the nice weather. Iza Birnbaum Sitting in the park. Birds. Leaves on the trees. Kalma Keinsod I like sitting and reading in the garden. Helen Cobin Some good sunny weather to be able to get outside and get around. Jackie Weissman A fresh start, a new beginning…blossoming. No more winter…nice weather and no more bundling up. Miriam Dilorenzo IDENTIFY THIS PLACE To find out the answer to last week’s “Identify this place” please visit www. QueensCourier. com Spending time with my family, going to the swimming pool with my son; I think that would be nice. I’m also looking forward to visiting my cousins in Jersey. Jong Gil Lee What USTA means to me BY JENNIFER YU I often joke with my parents that I “live at the National Tennis Center (NTC).” That’s because I play tennis there practically every morning before school and also participate in two of their afternoon tennis programs. It’s great because I get to play tennis and compete with kids who have become some of my best friends. Before and after hitting the courts, we all hang out, talk and do our homework together. It’s so much fun. I’m really hoping that the people of Queens will support the USTA’s plan to make the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park even better than it is now. The NTC is home to hundreds of community programs like the ones I get to participate in each year. Also, it’s a place where kids like me learn not only the rules of the game but the importance of teamwork, and it’s also where the world’s top players come for the US Open Championships. I hope to one day compete in the US Open. I first started playing at the NTC when I was eight years old. At the time, I could never have imagined that I would become a competitive and ranked tennis player. I began playing in one of the NTC’s summer camps. It was one of the best experiences of my life. I got training every day. I improved my strokes and made new friends. It was awesome. I now play in national and regional tournaments and am ranked 12th in the USTA’s Eastern Section’s 12’s age division. I owe a lot of that to the NTC for helping me become the competitive player I am today. The NTC also helped me grow as a person. Before I began playing tennis at the NTC, I was pretty shy. But after winning some matches on the court, along with daily encouragement and support from my coaches and fellow tennis buddies, my confidence and self-esteem began to soar. Tennis has become a really important part of my life and the NTC is the place where it all happens. It’s like a second home to me. I’ve met so many great people at the NTC, and I couldn’t be happier. I get to train with the top players in the Eastern Section and receive some of the best coaching in New York. What could be better! Thanks to the NTC, I can also continue my training during the winter. Through the USTA’s training program (in partnership with the New York Junior Tennis League), competitive players like myself receive coaching, and many program participants go on to earn academic and/or tennis scholarships to college. I ask the residents of Queens to support the USTA project because the NTC exposes kids like me to the great sport of tennis and also makes it affordable for us. Jennifer Yu is ranked 12th in the USTA’s Eastern Section’s 12’s age division.
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