Andrew Leung: The fight for equality in sport and society

Andrew Leung of the Junior Tennis Champions Center penned the following winning Arthur Ashe contest essay in the 13/14 Division:

Arthur Ashe was a bold man who stood up for what he believed in. When Ashe was at the peak of his career, he was denied a visa to play at the South African Davis Cup Open just because he was black. He helped bring the issue of racial discrimination to the forefront, and started to protest outside of the South African Embassy in Washington, D.C. Ashe was arrested in 1985 for this action, but he wasn’t afraid to speak out. Five months prior to his death, Ashe was arrested outside of the White House for the crackdown on Haitian refugees.

I would follow Ashe’s footsteps by participating and continuing to participate in a community service-learning project for the disabled kids who were held back for believing in themselves. This learning project consists of teaching kids with intellectual disabilities to have confidence and to always follow their dreams. These kids were brought down by their various disabilities, slowly depleting their confidence. This Special Olympics program had a profound impact on a particular young girl named Susie Doyens. Susie was born with Down syndrome and remained practically mute for most of her childhood due to social pressure and anxiety. After Susie entered in the Special Olympics program, Susie gained confidence and believed that she could do anything as long as she set her mind to it. The Special Olympics program has made a huge difference on the less fortunate, including people just like Susie. Ashe had stood up for himself and others to show that nothing can get in your way for doing the things that you love. I am currently a volunteer coach in the Special Olympics program in Montgomery County, Maryland and would love to continue participating in this program throughout my life. I want to continue Ashe’s work and help people around me to show that we can all make a difference together.

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