Two Named PTR Master Professionals

Hilton Head Island, SC — Professional Tennis Registry (PTR) presented its annual awards this week during the 2008 PTR International Tennis Symposium. The event, which includes 60-plus on court and classroom presentations, a tennis trade show and $25,000 Championships is being held February 16-21, 2008, at Van der Meer Shipyard Racquet Club on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.

PTR established the Master Professional level of certification to recognize those individuals who have made significant contributions to the game of tennis throughout their careers. The designation of Master Professional is an important distinction in which PTR members must demonstrate their broad involvement in tennis over many years. They have shown growth in their knowledge of the game, a strong involvement in introducing tennis to their community, expertise in teaching and coaching and a commitment to developing professionally. PTR Master Professionals are a strong representative of the sport and display the highest standards in the tennis teaching profession.

Shinichi Suzuki and Fernando Velasco were named as PTR Master Professionals.

Shinichi Suzuki, of Chiba, Japan, In 1976, Suzuki became one of the first PTR members in Japan. He is one of the best promoters of PTR and our teaching method, and mentors other good coaches in his country. A PTR National Tester, Suzuki has conducted numerous PTR clinics over the years.

He learned from the best, and carries on with Dennis Van der Meer’s traditions. He has always helped Dennis and fellow PTR clinicians on their trips to Japan. He serves as an interpreter for PTR, Dr. Jim Loehr, Dr. Jack Groppel, Chuck Kriese, Richrd Schönborn, Rick Macci and many others. He also translates TennisPro magazine articles for our Japanese speaking members. In his own club, Suzuki works with players of all skill levels from beginners to pro circuit players. A high energy coach, Shinichi is always willing to learn new things to expand and improve his repertoire. He has traveled from Japan annually for PTR International Tennis Symposia, and even flew in for PTR Professional Development Weekend a few years back to be among the first to learn about and spread the message of Cardio Tennis. He is certified to teach wheelchair tennis and studied the the sport sciences. In 2001, Shinich was named PTR Professional of the Year. Shinichi is well respected and is very deserving of Master Professional.

Fernando Velasco is the Manager and Director of Tennis at Circle C Tennis Club in Austin, Texas. He has been a guest speaker at PTR symposia for 15 years. His presentations on management and on-court teaching in both Spanish and English have been well received by attendees. In 1999, Velasco was named PTR Professional of the Year. Last year in Texas, he was ranked #5 in Singles and #4 in Doubles in the Men’s 60 division, and has captured the PTR’s Men’s 55s Doubles and 60s Singles, and this year the 65s Singles titles. In addition to PTR, Velasco has been a speaker at local, regional and national conventions of the CMAA, IHRSA, USPTA and USTA. A USPTA Master Professional, Fernando has written several articles that have been published at the regional and national levels, including TennisPro. He is a member of the Wilson Premiere Advisory Staff. Fernando is known for his passion on the court, but also for his compassion off the court. It is this sterling quality, in addition to his tennis coaching skills, that has earned him the PTR Master Professional rating.

PTR is the largest global organization of tennis teaching professionals with 13,000 members in 126 countries. It has the greatest percentage of multicultural and women members of any such organization. PTR is dedicated to educating, certifying and servicing tennis teachers and coaches around the world in order to grow the game.

Photos by Ken Mak: - Suzuki’s acceptance
- Velasco (left) with Pete Collins, PTR Master
Professional Committee Chairman


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