Naomi Osaka Readies the New Generation of Tennis Stars With Nike

Featureflash Photo Agency/Shutterstock

Nike has teamed up with Tennis Star Naomi Osaka in a new initiative for young girls called Play Academy, as apart of their Made to Play commitment to getting kids around the world to be more active.

The future players gushed about their admiration of Osaka’s calmness on the court, and to their surprise, the star joined them for an impromptu training session. The five-time Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) title winner met with the group in Tokyo, Japan to share some tips and tricks about the game.

But before she could guide them on her signature stance and serve, the girls had to know things like who was Naomi’s favorite singer and if she had a celebrity crush. Knowing how much a role model she is to these girls, she imparted the knowledge of patience and reminded them that life doesn’t revolve around tennis. “It’s a game after all,” she says.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Sport taught me from an early age that I can do anything, and I know that it can open up a world of opportunity for other girls, too. That’s why I’m so excited to team up with @nike and @laureussport to launch Play Academy – a grassroots sports program just for girls, starting in Tokyo. I’m excited for the girls to have fun and learn new skills, because you never know where it might take you. I also hope sport will teach them that you don’t have to fit into a box, you can create your own lane. I can’t wait for Play Academy to show girls (and the world) just how powerful they can be. Head to my stories for more info ❤️ 子どもの時から、スポーツをすることで私は何でもできると学びました。スポーツは世界に広がるたくさんの機会を女の子に与えてくれるはず。@nike と@laureussport とパートナーシップを組んで、東京から女の子のためのグラスルーツプログラム「プレー·アカデミー」を設立することにとてもワクワクしています。未来はどうなるか誰にもわからないから、このプログラムを通して女の子たちが楽しく、新しいスキルを学べたらいいな。スポーツを通じて、自分は決まった型にはまらなくもいい、自分の道を切り開くことができると感じて欲しい。プレー·アカデミーで女の子たち、そして世界に、みんながどれだけのパワーを持っているのか知ってもらうのが楽しみ。私のストーリーに、より詳しい情報があります ❤️

A post shared by 大坂なおみ 🇭🇹🇯🇵🇺🇸 (@naomiosaka) on

She shared with the girls her favorite part of the sport: the grind, the very grind that won her two back-to-back Grand Slam titles in the 2018 US Open and the 2019 Australian Open. Naomi continues to be an example of how representation will inspire the next generation of great women in sports. Understanding the impact of inclusivity in sports, she writes in her caption, “I’m excited for the girls to learn new skills because you never know where it might take you. I also hope the sport will teach them that you don’t have to fit in a box, you can create your own lane”.

 

Naomi continues to serve as an inspiration to young girls who see a part of themselves in her. She is a force to reckon with and we will continue to root for her.