On Tuesday, September 14, the Erwin Middle School boys' and girls' tennis teams received racquets from Yonex, a Japanese sporting goods company founded in 1946 and known for its badminton, golf and tennis equipment.
This year marks Yonex’s 75th anniversary. Many famous tennis players have had endorsements with Yonex, including former world number one tennis players Lleyton Hewitt, Martina Hingis, Martina Navratilova, Naomi Osaka, Marcelo Rios, Monica Seles and Stan Wawrinka.
Under the auspices of Erwin Athletic Director Allison Adams's non-profit, the Ed Dupree Memorial Scholarship and 5K Run, which seeks to promote opportunities for athletics for children and adults in the East Rowan community, all 17 of Erwin's boys' and girls' tennis players received strung, gently used Yonex racquets.
Coach Adams founded her non-profit in 2019 in memory of her father Ed Dupree, a legendary running enthusiast, a sportswriter for The Salisbury Post, and assistant basketball coach for Adams at Erwin Middle School from 2001-2013. Mr. Dupree passed away in 2017.
This donation was made possible by Yonex's Buy 1, Give 1 Donation Program. Yonex teamed up with Naomi Osaka to donate one racquet for every Limited Edition EZONE sold (up to 1,000 racquets) to celebrate the return of tennis and help communities in need. The model donated is the Yonex VCore Pro 97. The most current version of this model retails for $239.
Coach Adams, Coach Bridget Boling, and volunteer coach Robert Basinger were on hand Tuesday to distribute the racquets and take photos. It was a happy, high-energy occasion all around and a highlight in the 2021-2022 Erwin Middle School athletic year. Go Eagles!