Richard Mount, an 85-year- old from Boston and longtime tennis player and coach, is on a
countrywide journey with a stop in every capital city to play a local youth tennis player for his
cause “Buy Rackets, Not Rifles.”
Last month, he took on 13-year- old Darin Jawahar of Postlethwait Middle School.
Mount hopes to raise awareness about gun violence throughout the country while helping raise
money for equipment, like rackets, for inner-city youth in an effort to grow the game.
Mount reached out to the Dover Indoor Tennis Center and spoke with coach Gaby Brengle, who
set up the match with Jawahar, ranked No. 1 in the state among 14-year- olds.
Jawahar says the two spoke before and after the match, mostly about tennis.
“Before the match he just explained to me his experiences and how he’s played so many
matches,” Jawahar said. “I learned so much from him - I never realized how many different
types of players there are and how many have played before.”
The match was, by Mount’s count, game number 27,613 in his career, but one of the first on his
tour. He heads to Annapolis, Md., Richmond, Va., and Washington, D.C. next.
Mount’s mission is to help spread the sport of tennis in places where gun violence is all too
prevalent, by showing another option with a game youth may not be familiar with or exposed to.
The opportunity to be even a small part of this cause is something Jawahar takes seriously.
“At my school they don’t have a tennis team, and usually it’s one of the sports that isn’t very
popular, especially in different regions,” Jawahar said. “So, it’s pretty cool that he’s spreading
the word for tennis. It’s a great cause.
“I’ve never experienced any type of issue like this,” he said. “I’ve never played with someone
who is doing something like this. It was more focused on the match and how he was helping
me, but I agree with him and it’s great to know that I was one of the first couple of players to
play with him.”
Who won isn’t important, but one thing is for sure, Jawahar made the 85-year- old work.
“Darin had me run all over the court,” Mount said “But what other sport can one play when
they’re 85? 90? Tennis.”