Trimble to Speak at US Open Opening Night Gala

One of the University of Kentucky's newest tennis players, Grace Trimble, is already making an impact, but not just on the court. Trimble has been given the incredible honor of speaking at the US Open Opening Night Gala in New York City on Aug. 29. The event is sponsored by the United States Tennis Association and USTA Serves, their charitable foundation.

Trimble is very familiar with USTA Serves as she is currently receiving their third highest national scholarship after becoming an Arthur Ashe Essay Contest Winner in 2010. In her essay, she discussed the National Junior Tennis and Learning Program that she started during her junior year called Lexington Tennis Club Smart Shots. The program helps underprivileged elementary aged students.

The program offers tutoring for an hour, along with snack time and lessons in quick start tennis. Quick start tennis is an easier way for younger children to learn tennis as smaller racquets, smaller courts and larger tennis balls are used to allow for a slower game. 

The program started with eight children that Trimble connected to by pairing up with one of Lexington's many non-profit programs, Urban Impact. With Urban Impact's help, LTC Smart Shots is now helping 40 children in two consistent sights and is looking to grow.

One of Trimble's main reasons for choosing UK was her ability to remain connected with LTC Smart Shots even after starting college. She said another reason she was attracted to UK was the support that UK's coach, Carlos Drada, offered her in this endeavor.

Drada, along with many others, recognized how impressive it is that Trimble has accomplished so much at such a young age.

"It's amazing that a junior at the time wanted to start such a program," said Joanne Wallen, Trimble's coach of four years from LTC, "It's unbelievable how much recognition she has received and how far it has taken her."

Trimble knew that LTC Smart Shots could make an impact in her community, but she had no clue how much it would impact her own life. She never imagined it would bring her all the way to New York City to speak at the Opening Night of the US Open.

"It's a really high honor, I'm just so blessed to be put in this position," Trimble said, "I had no idea this would be the result of giving back to the community. It's so far beyond anything I had ever imagined."

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