Tennis Advocate of the Year: Shima and Joe Grover
When it comes to promoting this sport, it’s hard to surpass the passion, dedication and success that Joe and Shima Grover radiate. This husband-wife team from Richmond, Va., have been promoting and advocating for tennis from the greenest grassroots levels to the national scene, and they are Tennis Industry’s 2014 Tennis Advocates of the Year.
“Joe and Shima are perfect examples of tennis advocates,” says Carol Welder, a former USTA national board member and current chair of the USTA’s CTA and Public Parks Committee, on which Joe serves. “Joe has served locally for many years, including as president of the Richmond Tennis Association. He has served at the section level and on numerous national committees, including on the USTA board of directors. Shima is a tireless advocate for getting all people involved, finding programs for the disabled, for 10-and-under players, for wounded warriors, and more. They have a passion for introducing tennis to all.”
Three years ago, the Grovers helped start a series of low-cost clinics for kids in historic Battery Park, and more recently were instrumental in creating what is now the Westover Hills Tennis Complex in a city park. Last year they were recognized with the Volunteer of the Year Award from the Virginia District.
“We do our best to work with our city’s park and recreation department to improve public courts and programs for kids, adults and seniors,” Joe says. “We regard this as our primary calling.”
— Peter Francesconi
Tips for success
- Look at all tennis opportunities for adults and seniors, and use red, orange and green balls with them, because it makes the game easier to play and more fun.
- Park and recs need active programs that make tennis a regular activity, for all ages.
- Build relationships with local governments, agencies and schools.
See all articles by Peter Francesconi
About the Author
Peter Francesconi is editorial director of Tennis Industry magazine.
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