This article is sponsored by Citi.
It's no surprise that Bob and Mike Bryan, winners of 11 Grand Slam men's doubles titles, are supporting the National Recreation and Park Association's Tennis in the Parks initiative through Citi’s Every Step of the WaySM program. Tennis in the Parks helps make the game more accessible to millions of youngsters who wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to learn and play.
Through their efforts, the Bryans, 34-year old twins who hail from Camarillo, CA., will help to ensure that children in underserved communities will have the opportunity to be taught the game in local parks, using kid-sized tennis courts and rackets. For more than a decade, the NRPA has contributed to the emergence of tennis as a lifelong recreational sport. This partnership makes resources available to help public parks and recreation agencies engage more youngsters as well as adults in physically active lifestyles through tennis.
The overall mission of the NRPA is to advance parks, recreation and environmental conservation efforts to enhance the quality of life for all people. Parks and recreation agencies play a critical role in communities, with 70 percent of all tennis played on public facilities. The agencies are largely responsible for programming these activities and maintaining the public courts. In partnership with sports organizations and nonprofit partners, the NRPA focuses on initiatives that support, promote, improve and deliver play opportunities for young people across America.
The NRPA believes that play is an essential part of every child's life and has proven to be fundamental to social, emotional, cognitive, intellectual and physical development. Park communities serve as the entry point and first introduction to physical activity, organized play and team sports. Young athletes develop confidence, teamwork and sportsmanship while being instilled with positive behavior and values.
Services provided by parks and recreation agencies are often among the first to be cut in the current era of tight budgets, so advocacy is one of the most important services provided by the NRPA. The organization's public policy team works to represent the cause of public parks and recreation at the federal level by fighting for funding and legislation that improves access to open space and recreational opportunities.
Among the resources provided to Tennis in the Parks participants are tennis programming formats, discounts on tennis equipment, on-court training, support for coaches and grants to assist with new court construction projects and renovation of existing facilities.
Bob and Mike Bryan are two of 13 athletes whom Citi is sponsoring in its Every Step of the WaySM program. This innovative digital program benefits U.S. Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls and athletes of all ages in communities across America by allowing fans to help allocate Citi’s ThankYou® Points to Sport Programs through activity on Facebook and Twitter, thereby giving Team Citi athletes the chance to say "thank you" to the Sport Programs that have inspired them.
Citi, a proud sponsor of Team USA, has launched its Every Step of the Way program with a $500,000 donation to the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC), represented by 50 million ThankYou® Points - the currency of Citi ThankYou Rewards. The unique Every Step of the Way program allows fans to help allocate these ThankYou Points to Sport Programs through activity on Facebook and Twitter.
The more fans participate through Facebook and Twitter, the more ThankYou Points they can direct to their Sport Program of choice, until its goal is reached. At the end of the program, the USOC will use Citi's donation to give the cash equivalent of the ThankYou Points directly to the Sport Program matched with the Team Citi athlete.
Support the Bryan Brothers’ quest for gold and their selected Sport Program National Recreation and Park Association’s Tennis and Parks Initiative through the Every Step of the Way Application on Facebook. Follow Bob and Mike on Twitter.
Will you be watching Bob and Mike Bryan at the Olympic games?