Rush hour will come to court at Grand Central Terminal. As harried commuters rush to catch their trains later this month, Monica Seles and Alexandra Stevenson will be rushing the net during an exhibition match to be staged in Grand Central Terminal on April 29th to raise money for the American Stroke Challenge.
The Challenge is an eight-year program provided by the American Stroke Association. The match between Seles and Stevenson launches the Challenge, which promotes the screening of people for strokes. For the first seven years of its existence, the program used pro golfers to promote its cause, but the campaign has now moved to the court in an effort to reach more women on the importance of screening for strokes.
“With the tennis demographic, it skews more toward women and women are definitely one of the key audiences for stroke,” American Stroke Challenge communications manager Corliss Hill told Daniel Kaplan of the SportsBusiness Journal.
The issue has touched Stevenson personally. Her grandfather died of a stroke. The daughter of former NBA all-star Julius Erving and sportswriter Samantha Stevenson, Alexandra is the first non-caucasion athlete to serve as spokesperson for the American Stroke Association.
Every weekday, an estimated 500,000 people pass through Grand Central Terminal, which houses its own tennis court and annually hosts a squad tournament as well as a USTA-sponsored tennis exhibition prior to the start of the U.S. Open.