By: Luke Gallagher, St. Joseph’s Prep
PHILADELPHIA – Main Line Tennis Academy (MLTA) hosted its second charity doubles tournament at Legacy Youth Tennis and Education on Sunday, August 14, raising over $2,000 for PALS Programs. The tournament, called Tennis for PALS, brought together 32 high school tennis players from schools across the Philadelphia region to raise money for young adults with Down syndrome through PALS Programs.
Jay Crowther, a senior and varsity tennis captain at The Haverford School, as well as Co-Founder and President of MLTA, was in charge of organizing the tournament, alongside Armon Meinstein and Joaquin Arias.
“The aim of the tournament was to support and raise money for children with special needs and give them access to more all-inclusive activities through PALS Programs,” said Crowther.
Crowther started MLTA in the summer of 2021 with Meinstein, who is a junior at Germantown Academy, and Arias, a fellow senior at The Haverford School, as a result of an injury he suffered during the end of his sophomore season.
“The doctors told me there was no way to fix it and I would need to be sidelined that summer,” said Crowther. “I knew that even if I couldn’t improve my own tennis career, I wanted to improve someone else’s and that is when I first felt the power and impact of coaching, during my time at Silifke Tennis Club in Turkey.”
Almost one year later, MLTA hosted its first charity tournament at Germantown Academy and raised over $2,000 to help children with special needs.
After the success of the first tournament back in May 2022, MLTA immediately decided to start planning its next, this time with PALS Programs as the benefactor of the event.
“PALS is an organization that I have worked with closely in the past and have really enjoyed,” said Crowther. “They are some of the most loving people I have ever met so I am really glad to be able to use today’s tournament as a way to support them and their cause.”
Tennis for PALS, sponsored by USTA Middle States, Legacy Youth Tennis and Education, and Lifetime Fitness, raised over $2,000 for PALS Programs and brought together tennis players from across the Philadelphia region to support the cause, highlighting the immense power of the local tennis community.
“That’s what MLTA is all about,” said Crowther. “We are not just another tennis academy on the Main Line, but a community-based organization working to help those who really need it.”
Looking forward, MLTA hopes to continue to grow locally, turning athletic competition into something people can come together around, rather than fight over.
“It is our hope that MLTA will help shift the focus of Inter-Ac sports from achieving athletic excellence to cultivating a community of athletic leaders,” said Crowther.