We caught up with Mike Silverman, Director of Sports for the City Parks Foundation, to discuss how World No. 1 tennis player Novak Djokovic surprised youth involved in the program with pieces from his new artist collection with Youssef Sy and a personalized video message direct from the US Open!
Novak surprised some youth in your program. What was that like?
Well, it’s not every day you receive a pep talk and gift from the number one player in the world! Our kids were surprised and thrilled at the same time. Novak surprised us and gifted the kids pieces from his new collection. When the package was opened a video automatically played of Novak sharing his experiences leading into the tournament, and provided motivation during this troubling time. The ability for our kids to have unique experiences like this really motivates them and is a special benefit of our partnership with Lacoste over the years. They won’t easily forget this.
How was the CityParks Foundation started?
In 1989, Kramer vs. Kramer author Avery Corman was concerned about the state of the park near where he had grown up in the Bronx, so he began looking for ways to improve it. Thanks to Avery, and many other dedicated New Yorkers who took action at a critical time in our city’s history, City Parks Foundation now reaches 310,000 New Yorkers every year, offering programming to encourage residents to use and care for their local parks and green spaces. Over the years, we have grown to meet community needs, adding such notable programs as CityParks tennis — now the largest municipal tennis instruction program for kids in the country.