Amani Shah, co-founder of Second Serve, at the July 12, 2021, seventh annual Sports Humanitarian Awards held at The Rooftop at Pier 17, in Seaport, New York City. Photo: courtesy Amani Shah.
The seventh annual Sports Humanitarian Awards were awarded July 12, 2021, during a glittering event at The Rooftop at Pier 17, located within the Seaport in New York City.
Among the recipients was Indian-American Amani Shah, co-founder of the non-profit organization Second Serve, which collects gently used tennis equipment and sends it to youth around the U.S. and the world.
The event, hosted by actor and author Taye Diggs, will air as a 90-minute television special on Saturday, July 24, at 2 p.m. ET on ABC, a press release from ESPN said.
This year’s winners include:
- Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award Presented by Dove Men+Care: Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, Kansas City Chiefs
- Sports Humanitarian Team of the Year: Atlanta Dream
- Corporate Community Impact Award: Microsoft
- Billie Jean King Youth Leadership Award: Adom Appiah, Tory Bailey, Gabriel Banuelos, Jacob Eusebio, Amani Shah, Holly Wilson
- Stuart Scott ENSPIRE Award Sponsored by Bristol Myers Squibb: Joe Torre; Frank Kipp, Blackfeet Boxing; Tom Walter & Kevin Jordan, Get In the Game
- Sports Philanthropist of the Year Award: Arthur Blank, Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United
- League Humanitarian Leadership Award: NBA
The Billie Jean King Youth Leadership Award which Shah received celebrates and honors youth who are using the power of sport as a catalyst for change and making a positive impact on society.
New York, NY – July 12, 2021 – The Rooftop at Pier 17: Billie Jean King during the 2021 Sports Humanitarian Awards presented by ESPN. (Photo by Joe Faraoni / ESPN Images)
“As a young tennis player in Southern California, Amani Shah has realized the incredible benefits the sport provides her, while also recognizing within her community the huge gap in diversity, inclusion and access to the game that exists, largely due to the financial costs to participate,” noted ESPN.
New York, NY – July 12, 2021 – The Rooftop at Pier 17: Billie Jean King Youth Leadership recipients with Angela Woods on the red carpet for the 2021 Sports Humanitarian Awards presented by ESPN. (Photo by Kelly Backus / ESPN Images)
To address these disparities, Shah and her sister founded Second Serve — a fully youth run non-profit organization — in 2019 with the goal to give tennis equipment a second chance by collecting gently used and excess tennis equipment, and redistributing it to underserved youth around the world to help kids gain access to the sport.
Shah’s leadership has led to Second Serve growing its team to include more than 70 Second Serve Presidents between the ages of 13 and 17 across the country.
Her organization also partnered with local non-profits to donate equipment in underserved communities across 23 states, as well as internationally across 11 different countries, including Uganda, India, Nigeria and Argentina.
“By sourcing equipment for these organizations, Second Serve is fueling youth involvement in tennis and giving more kids the opportunity to use sport to change their lives,” noted ESPN in the press release.
Since its inception, Second Serve has collected and donated more than 10,000 pieces of equipment.
As part of the Sports Humanitarian Awards ESPN will donate more than $1 million in charitable contributions on behalf of the award nominees and honorees.
To date, more than $12 million has been donated to the community on behalf of the Awards.
The Awards and sponsorships benefited the Stuart Scott Memorial Cancer Research Fund at the V Foundation for Cancer Research once again, which supports minority scientists and researchers working to improve outcomes for minorities who are disproportionately affected by cancer.