2006 Grassroots champion of the year: Beverly Bourguet
Success doesn’t always come easily, but Beverly Bourguet of Albuquerque, N.M., has proven that persistence, dedication, and passion are key.
Bourguet’s launch of a National Junior Tennis League program in one of Albuquerque’s neighborhoods, and her continued efforts to grow the game across the city, has earned her RSI’s 2006 Grassroots Champion of the Year award.
In the neighborhood of Barelas, others had tried unsuccessfully to start programs to serve its underprivileged, at-risk youth. “I was resolved that we were going to get this started,” says Bourguet, a former high-school counselor.
And she did just that in the summer of 2005, when she started VAMOS NJTL with the help of a USTA/PTR grant. This past summer, 30 children from 6 to 16 participated in the program, which not only focuses on tennis, but also on education and life skills. VAMOS has earned honors from the USTA Northern New Mexico Tennis Association, of which Bourguet is immediate past president, and the USTA Southwest Section. But her efforts to serve her community and grow the game don’t end there.
Bourguet has played a significant role in securing funds for court renovations and construction, as well as other tennis needs in Albuquerque. Also, last April, she was part of a group that met with New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson to make school courts available to the public and to tennis programs during the off-season. “We’ve made an impact in our tennis community,” says Bourguet.
To help keep those courts staffed with capable instructors, Bourguet has hosted the PTR’s ACE Program, which stands for Advance the Commitment to Education. ACE offers educational workshops to coaches and teaching pros interested in teaching in multicultural neighborhoods.
“Bev doesn’t give up,” says PTR CEO Dan Santorum. “She’s persistent and passionate about tennis.”
Beverly Bourguet’s tips for success
- Be sure to have someone behind the project that is 110 percent committed to the time, energy, and effort it requires.
- Find out your audience’s needs, set some goals and objectives, and create an action plan.
- Identify local, regional, and national resources for your project. Be enthusiastic and show gratitude to your community.
See all articles by Kristen Daley
About the Author
Kristen Daley is a contributing editor for RSI magazine.