USTA is First NGB to Partner with President’s Council on Sports, Fitness

March 27, 2024

MIAMI, Fla. — March 27, 2024 – Tennis is the healthiest sport in the world and today the United States Tennis Association (USTA), alongside Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff and special guests from the White House, announced that the USTA is the first National Governing Body (NGB) to partner with the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition (PCSFN). The PCSFN is a federal advisory committee that aims to promote nutrition and physical activity for all people, regardless of background or ability. Tennis is also the first racquet sport to make this commitment. As part of the agreement, the PCSFN and USTA will work collaboratively to bring national health and nutrition programming to communities where tennis is played.

The historic announcement was made today at a press event at the Miami Open that included Second Gentleman of the United States Douglas Emhoff; Dr. J. Nadine Gracia, President’s Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition; Cindy Long, Administrator, USDA Food and Nutrition Service; Dr. Brian Hainline, Chairman of the Board and President, USTA; and James Blake, Tournament Director, Miami Open and former world No. 4 ranked player.

“This partnership will make a real difference in real lives. Thank you to the USTA for your dedication to this critical work,” said Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff. “With your help, President Biden, Vice President Harris, and the entire Biden-Harris Administration will continue to make progress in the fight to end hunger and build healthy communities in America.”

“Making this commitment to support the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness and Nutrition falls directly in line with the USTA mission of growing tennis to inspire healthier people and communities everywhere,” said Brian Hainline. “Tennis has tremendous wellness benefits, including increased longevity coupled with improved physical, mental, emotional and social health, and we believe that we can make a positive societal impact by bringing health and nutrition programming to tennis communities across our great country.”

“The President’s Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition is excited to welcome the USTA as the newest partner in our historic series of agreements with every major sports league and players association,” said Rayhaan Merani, Executive Director for the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition. “Under President Biden’s leadership, this Council continues to build alliances that promote healthy eating, physical activity and a healthier America. Together with the USTA, the President’s Council is serving up new opportunities for all Americans to lead active and healthy lives.”

“We applaud USTA for expanding the reach of the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition to the racquet sports community,” said Administrator Cindy Long. “At USDA, we know that physical activity and nutrition are both essential for a healthy lifestyle. Our nutrition programs and initiatives such as MyPlate and summer nutrition are powerful, far-reaching tools to advance nutrition security and support people’s health and well-being. We look forward to partnering with USTA as we carry out the Biden-Harris Administration’s whole-of-society approach to ending hunger and building healthy communities.”

The USTA joins 14 other sports entities, including professional leagues and player associations, in making the pledge.

Tennis is the Healthiest Sport in the World

According to multiple sources and studies, tennis has been shown to have a significant positive impact on the health of participants. Included in the effects:
* Tennis players on average lived an additional 9.7 years than sedentary individuals.
* The 9.7 additional years for tennis players ranked highest among all sports included within the study, beating out soccer by 5 years (4.7), cycling by 6 years (3.7), swimming by 6.3 years (3.4) and jogging by 6.5 years (3.2).
* Participation in racquet sports such as tennis reduces risk of all-cause mortality by 47 percent and cardiovascular-related death by 56 percent.**
* Consistent, regular recreational competition provided by sports leagues like tennis present significant social and emotional health benefits. The sense of community built through participating in USTA Leagues significantly improved players’ sense of happiness and minimized depressive symptoms.
* Tennis players generally exhibit higher self-esteem and optimism compared to other athletes and non-athletes. In addition, tennis players generally manifest lower rates of anxiety, anger, and depression when compared to their athlete and non-athlete peers.**