40° Good Afternoon
40° Good Afternoon

Kidsday reporters have a ball at U.S. Open Kids’ Day

From left, Kidsday reporters Nicole Aponte, 13, of

From left, Kidsday reporters Nicole Aponte, 13, of Miller Place, Gionna Altebrando, 14, of Franklin Square and Diana Hadjiyane, 16, of Wantagh meet Olympic gold medalist Simone Manuel at the U.S. Open Arthur Ashe Kids' Day event in Flushing, Queens, on Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016. Credit: Kristie Altebrando

On Saturday we went to Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing. It was a great experience. It was so fun to meet and watch our favorite athletes and musicians perform. The event featured tennis players such as Venus Williams, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Monica Puig, Jack Sock and Juan Martin del Potro. We were lucky enough to go backstage and on the tennis court to meet other athletes, musicians and actors such as Ansel Elgort, Laura Marano, Jordan Fischer, Joey Bragg, Simone Manuel, Zara Larsson, Flo Rida, Troye Sivan, and Forever in Your Mind.

The first person we met on this amazing day was Laura Marano, singer and former star of “Austin & Ally.” Laura was one of the three hosts of Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day. She greeted us with a huge smile and hugs. She was so sweet and we loved talking to her because she had so much fun with the interview. She talked with us about always being confident and to never give up. We look up to her as a role model due to her confidence both on and off the stage, as well as her fun-loving attitude.

Then we met Jordan Fisher, who is an actor and singer and was one of the hosts of Kids’ Day. They couldn’t have picked a better person for the job! Jordan’s personality is absolutely amazing and he is so down to earth. All of his responses to our questions were well thought out. He’s an artist who is very true to himself. He was so interactive with us; our favorite part was when he called the three of us pretty. Jordan is very driven in his music and we expect great things from him.

After that, we interviewed Troye Sivan, a singer and YouTube personality raised in Perth, Australia. He is very in touch with his music and loves what he does. The majority of his music is based on his own life and experiences, showing what a genuine person he is. Troye has a laid-back demeanor that matches his relaxed tone of music to a tee. He said he named his album “Blue Neighborhood” because he wanted his fans to connect with his music. Also, the interview was very calm and conversational, making it easy for us to chat with him.

After that we attended a meet-and-greet on the tennis court where we met rapper Flo Rida. His music can make anyone get up and dance. He was so kind and inviting when we met and it made us feel like we were welcome to “his house” any day!

Then we met the beautiful Simone Manuel, who is the first African-American woman to win an Olympic gold medal in swimming. She is a true role model.

Then there was Zara Larsson, who is fun, confident and extremely fashionable! Her performance was unforgettable. Joey Bragg, the third host of Kids’ Day, kept everyone laughing the whole time. He kept the audience involved and there never was a dull moment when he took to the tennis court! We then met Forever in Your Mind, a young band who kept everyone in the crowd on their feet.

Lastly, we had the chance to meet Ansel Elgort from “The Fault in Our Stars” and “The Divergent” series. He recently came out with a new single, “Home Alone,” which is very catchy. He showed us some of his tennis skills and dance moves and sang his new song.

The most important thing we learned during the event is that Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day benefits the United States Tennis Association Foundation, which helps more than 500 nonprofit organizations provide free or low-cost tennis and educational programs to more than 225,000 children every year.

“Success is a journey, not a destination,” is one of many inspirational quotes that Ashe, a tennis legend, once said. His legacy lives on to have an encouraging effect on our community.


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