'On Court With USPTA' Receives Gold Award

“On Court with USPTA,” the cable TV show produced by the United States Professional Tennis Association, received the Gold Award in the Ava Awards 2007 competition. The award-winning episode “Ask the Professor – Episode 1,” which aired on the Tennis Channel, won in the category of video/film/sports.

“On Court” is a 20-minute instructional show featuring USPTA-certified professionals as guest instructors. The USPTA became the first tennis-teaching organization ever to produce and air an educational television series on playing and teaching tennis on the Tennis Channel in 2003. Since then, more than 46 shows have been produced that provide instruction about technique, strategy and other facets of the game, such as fun and fitness.

“Ask the Professor – Episode 1” offers helpful insights on tennis from USPTA Master Professional Jack Groppel, Ph.D. In this show he explains how important the role of fun is during the heat of competition. He also discusses how to extend your playing career without serious injury and gives key tips on avoiding tennis elbow. In addition, Groppel shows how to maximize your enjoyment of the game with tips on how to reach the next level of play and provides helpful information about playing in extreme heat.

The Gold Award is presented to entries judged to exceed industry standards. About 14 percent of the entries received this honor.

All production is done in-house, which includes everything from planning and scripting to shooting and editing to graphics and DVD duplication. Joe Birkmire, the multimedia department manager, is also the show’s director and editor, and H.R. Topham is videographer and editor. Other production team members are Rick Bostrom, Scott Bucic, Julie Myers, Shawna Riley, Fred Viancos and executive producer Tim Heckler.

Check local listings for the Tennis Channel availability and visit for show times for “On Court with USPTA.” A DVD of “Ask the Professor – Episode 1” will be available in January for purchase online at, but visit the site today to view more than a hundred other USPTA-produced DVD titles and all other “On Court” episodes also available for purchase.

The Ava Awards is an international awards competition that recognizes outstanding work by creative professionals involved in the concept, writing, direction, shooting, and editing of audio-visual materials and programs. Entrants include video and film production companies, Web developers, advertising agencies, PR firms, corporate and government communication departments, producers, directors, editors and shooters. This year over 1,700 entries were submitted. Entries are judged by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals who set the standards for excellence and look for industry members who exceed those standards.


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