After a highly successful year in professional tennis, Naomi Osaka is expanding her tennis academy to Haiti and Los Angeles, California, offering dozens of other young players an opportunity to advance their skills.
Osaka won her fourth Grand Slam singles title at the 2021 Australian Open, defeating her mentor Serena Williams. The 23-year-old took a small break from the sport before starting training for her next big event, the Madrid Open, which is currently underway.
But Osaka’s busy year hasn’t stopped her from pursuing what she wants. People Magazine reported that she’s developing her Play Academy in Haiti and Los Angeles, expanding outside its Japan location. Osaka launched the tennis academy last summer in collaboration with Nike and Laureus Sport for Good.
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“We believe that all kids, especially girls, deserve a chance to play, no matter where they come from or what they look like. The more we provide girls with opportunities to get active, the more opportunities we are giving them to become leaders in their communities,” she told the publication about the opportunity.
For Play Academy’s Los Angeles location, Osaka said she hopes to “hire more female coaches, and provide girls with education to help build up their confidence, self-esteem and leadership skills.” The academy will partner with GOALS Haiti, a nonprofit organization, to help underrepresented groups.
Speaking on the role of girls and women in tennis, Osaka told the magazine, “There are huge barriers that girls face in getting active. Some girls, especially those from marginalized communities, never even get the chance to play. The more I learned about these barriers, through my work with Nike and Laureus Sport for Good, the more I felt determined to do something about it.”
Last week, Osaka launched a new skincare brand, KINLÒ, designed for “melanated skin tones.” The product line features sunscreen products that protect against harmful UVA and UVB rays.
The multifaceted tennis pro accomplishes any goal she sets, and we love her for it!