Our WCW is often regarded as the greatest female tennis player of ‘All time’ ) and has been ranked world No. 1 in singles on eight occasions, from 2002 to 2017. I’m sure you’ve guessed it, I am indeed referring to Serena Williams.
As the youngest of an extraordinary duo within Tennis, Serena has 4 Gold Olympic medals within her roster; one in woman’s singles and three in women’s doubles—an all-time record shared with her sister, Venus.
The Williams sisters have been credited with ushering in a new era of power and athleticism in women’s sportsmanship and its no surprise, Serena Williams started playing tennis at the tender age of three; yes whilst most were finding their footing and trying to pronounce words the Williams sisters were on route to attending the Macci tennis academy (though would later be pulled out by their father, whom decided to coach the girls himself and spare them racial slurs and such) though the Williams sisters were a minority within the sport due to their race, very early on Serena showed signs of being one to watch. At the age of 10 Williams had a 46–3 record on the United States Tennis Association junior tour and was ranked number one among under-10 players in Florida. This top position would later become the ‘norm’ for this phenomenal woman.
Though I could go on and on listing the achievements of Serena within the tennis world, it is her extra curricular achievements which I simply in awe of. At the top of her game, (though currently on hiatus from the sport whilst pregnant with her 1st child *congrats*) Serena has given back to the world selflessly time and time over, and never makes a fuss of all she does. Ever gracious.
Here are 3 things to aim to do even when you reach the top of your game, to insure you serve the world your best shot and set amazing standards for the generations to come.
1. Be philanthropic : In 2008, as part of the Serena Williams Foundation’s work, Williams helped to fund the construction of the Serena Williams Secondary School in Matooni, Kenya. The Serena Williams Foundation also provides university scholarships for underprivileged students in the United States. In 2016, the Serena Williams Fund partnered with Helping Hands Jamaica to build the Salt Marsh Primary School for Jamaican youth in Trelawny Parish. Serena is providing the youth with the stability of a firm foundation from which they can ‘Grow Daily’.
2. Don’t be afraid to be the voice of those who’ve lost theirs : ‘Stand up for something, or you will fall for anything’. It’s so rare when athletes at the top of their game are willing to embrace a set of issues that, for a lot of people, are edgier”. This was the comment of a colleague of Serena’s at Equal Justice Initiative, a non-profit organization that provides legal representation to those who might have been denied a fair trial.
This strong, serene voice Serena possesses, drove her to stand when a lot of her contemporaries remained seated, she spoke up when others were being quiet, their silence condoning injustice.
3. Everything has it’s time : Often women feel pressured to choose between a career or family and are forced to believe that you cannot have it all. Serena is proof that society’s pressures are bogus. Though some may argue that Serena chose her career, before recently finding love and building a family; I believe she has impeccable timing and does nothing half heartedly, I mean have you seen that glow; Serena is showing her softer maternal style whilst being renowned as the strongest willed female athlete of all time. It is a true joy to see a woman do and have it all, it’s possible if you want it to be.
Until next time, be good to yourselves, kind to one another and above all; Grow Daily.
Written by: Karen Sherise