PTR Honors Members with Annual Awards
The Professional Tennis Registry presented its annual awards during the 2016 PTR International Tennis Symposium, held Feb. 16-20 on Hilton Head Island, S.C. The event included more than 40 educational presentations for tennis teachers and coaches.
A highlight of the week was the induction of Billie Jean King into the PTR Hall of Fame. King, who won 39 Grand Slam titles in singles and doubles, was coached by PTR founder Dennis Van der Meer during the famous “Battle of the Sexes” match with Bobby Riggs in 1973. She was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1987.
The PTR Hall of Fame, considered the organizations highest honor, was created to preserve history and honor excellence. Candidates are elected by the PTR Board of Directors and must be current or retired PTR members who have contributed to PTR and the game of tennis in a way that far exceeds the norm. King is the fifth inductee, joining Dennis Van der Meer, Jim Verdieck, Dr. Jim Loehr and Arthur Ashe.
Beltrame Named PTR Pro of the Year
Lorenzo Beltrame of Windermere, Fla., has been named PTR Professional of the Year. The honor is presented to the PTR professional who has displayed the highest standards of conduct and service to both tennis and PTR. Throughout his career, Beltrame has worked with dozens of ATP and WTA tour professionals, including Jim Courier and Pete Sampras, and has coached players in major events including the four Grand Slams, Davis Cup and Hopman Cup.
Since 1996, Beltrame has served as Director of Tennis and Athletic Performance Coaching at the Human Performance Institute in Orlando, Fla. He is responsible for the Mental Toughness Certification Program at the HPI and has helped to design and implement critical components of that training. Both a PTR pro and a USPTA Master Professional, Beltrame has received the Coach of the Year and “Doc” Counsilman Science Awards by the U.S. Olympic Committee.
Aruna Bernier Named PTR Humanitarian
PTR pro Aruna Chettri Bernier of Austin, Texas, director of Tennis Buddys LLC, has been named PTR Humanitarian of the Year. Bernier had been putting all her energy into growing the game by teaching tennis, but when major earthquakes hit her native Nepal a year ago, she took action, establishing a nonprofit, ArunasNepalRelief.org, to help in the relief effort, including traveling to Nepal and risking her safety to deliver aid directly.
As PTR Humanitarian of the Year, Bernier received a $2,500 check from the PTR Foundation to help her continue her work. Moved by her acceptance, PTR Foundation Chairman Scott Tharp doubled the amount, then Billie Jean King matched the Foundation grant and asked others to contribute as well.
2016 PTR Awards
PTR Hall of Fame: Billie Jean King
Professional of the Year: Lorenzo Beltrame, Florida
International Master Pro: Darryl Lewis, North Carolina
Touring Coach of the Year: Patrick Mouratoglou, France
College Coach of the Year: Ann Koger, Pennsylvania
High School Coach: Suzie Heideman, Minnesota
Wheelchair Professional: Larry Keeter, North Carolina
Humanitarian Award: Aruna Bernier, Texas
Volunteer of the Year: Katy Rogers, Texas
Clinician of the Year: Adams Zhao Ruifeng, China
Tester of the Year: Leo Alonso, Argentina
Public Facility of the Year: Southlake Tennis Center, Texas
Private Facility of the Year: Circolo Della Stampa-Spoting, Italy
PTR/TIA Commitment to the Industry: P.J. Simmons, New York
PTR/USTA Community Service Award: Jessica Weyreuter, Alabama
Female Player of the Year: Emmy Kaiser, Kentucky
Male Player of the Year: Clayton Almeida, New York
Newcomer of the Year: Carlos Pedrero, Arizona
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