“Sport Has Given Me So Much”: Naomi Osaka Pens Heartfelt Letter For Young Girls

Published 10/12/2021, 7:00 AM EDT
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – AUGUST 23: Naomi Osaka of Japan speaks during media day prior to the the 2019 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 23, 2019 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)


Naomi Osaka has been a role model for a plethora of young tennis players across the world. Naomi has various initiatives off-court to aid those less privileged to shine in the sport. On the International Day of Girl Child, Osaka announced that they have accepted new grantees in Los Angeles and Tokyo at ‘Play Academy with Naomi Osaka.’

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‘Play Academy with Naomi Osaka’ was launched in Tokyo in 2020 and expanded to Los Angeles and Haiti in 2021. The initiative’s aim is to provide equal opportunities to all the enthusiastic young girls who desire to play the sport. The project has partnered with Nike, Laureus Sports and many other brands.

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Osaka’s new initiative

On the International Day of Girl Child, Naomi Osaka released a new development on her project of ‘Play Academy with Naomi Osaka.’ Osaka announced that new grantees have been accepted at Los Angeles and Tokyo. Furthermore, she also stated that Haiti’s work is also progressing.

The Australian Open champion said, “International Day of the Girl exists, because opportunities – including access to play and participate in sport aren’t the same for girls. Our newest community partnerships, as well as our existing relationships – which are each using sport to uplift, inspire and empower young women and girls – represent an opportunity to change that.”

The Japanese professional further added, “Together, we’ll help girls find their way to those opportunities that might seem out of reach. Sport gives you confidence; it teaches you leadership and resilience, and better prepares you for whatever comes your way. Sport has given me so much, and I can’t wait to see where these incredible programs in LA, Tokyo and Haiti take the girls.”

Naomi Osaka started this remarkable project in 2020 with the goal of providing equal opportunities to all young girls who want to play tennis. She has consistently been a vocal advocate for more equality in opportunities to those less privileged, and Naomi’s actions back up her words.

Watch this story: The Journey of Roger Federer to the Elite Billionaire’s Club

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The uncertainty continues for Naomi Osaka

The defending champion had a fairly decent run at US Open 2021. Osaka successfully progressed to the third round, where she met the Canadian prodigy Leylah Fernandez. The Japanese clinched the first set, however, she couldn’t continue the momentum and fell short against Fernandez in three sets.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 03: Naomi Osaka of Japan looks dejected during her match against Leylah Fernandez of Canada in the third round of the women’s singles at the US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 03, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by TPN/Getty Images)

Since then, Naomi Osaka hasn’t revealed her plans of a return and decided to stay away from tennis for some time. While her break continues, we saw a very kind gesture from the four-time Grand Slam champion.

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DIVE DEEPER

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Atri Bhatt

148 articles

Atri Bhatt is a tennis author at EssentiallySports. He is pursuing his Master's degree in Sports Management from Deakin University, Australia. In addition to critically analysing the game, he also plays tennis professionally.

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