2008 USTA Section of the Year: Pacific Northwest
For the USTA Pacific Northwest Section, teamwork is key. Success in everything from tennis programming to improving tennis infrastructure across the section has been built through the cooperation of its members.
“I think what sets the section apart is that the entire staff and volunteers are well-connected to their communities,” says Karen Green, USTA national manager of Tennis in the Parks. “They know what is going on in almost every community and are a welcoming organization.”
And for all its success, the Pacific Northwest Section is the 2008 RSI USTA Section of the Year. It’s the second time the section won this award, having been honored in 2004, too.
The section’s current USTA membership of more than 23,000 represents a 100 percent increase from eight years ago. This increase in members has resulted from program participation, particularly in the USTA League and Junior Team Tennis programs.
Today, every area of the section offers a Junior Team Tennis Local League, and participation has grown to 2,000 recently. League Tennis participation increased a record 9 percent since 2007 and now boasts nearly 20,500 players. A focus on team play for juniors through adults, says section CEO and Executive Director Bill Leong, has led to competitive success all the way up to the national level.
To ensure there are plenty of places to play, the section provides grants for local communities to use toward the construction and renovation of courts. It also teams up with technical, fundraising and advocacy experts. “There’s a lot involved in it,” says Leong.
The backbone of the PNW Section is its squad of staff and volunteers, who worked together to host the Davis Cup final in 2007. “We have a very strong and effective volunteer and staff partnership,” says Leong.
- Be sure diversity and inclusion are embedded in the business operating plan.
- Maintain a strong partnership between professional staff and volunteers.
- Engage the community and provide relevant service needs.
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About the Author
Kristen Daley is a contributing editor for Tennis Industry magazine.