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USTA/ITA Awards Announced

SKILLMAN, N.J. — The United States Tennis Association (USTA) and the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) announced that U.S. Air Force Academy Head Women’s Tennis Coach Kim Gidley has been named the national winner of the USTA/ITA Community Outreach Award and Christine Davis, the Women’s Head Tennis Coach at Smith College is the national winner of the USTA/ITA Campus Recreation Award. Both coaches will be honored by the ITA and the USTA on Saturday, December 19th at the ITA Coaches Convention being held at the Naples Grande Resort and Spa in Naples, Fla., during the ITA Welcoming and Awards Banquet.

The USTA/ITA Community Outreach Award honors an ITA coach for significant contributions in developing community-based tennis programs through community centers, schools, parks, community tennis associations, inner city, suburban or rural programs. The USTA/ITA Campus Recreation Award honors an ITA coach who has done an outstanding job implementing the USTA’s Tennis On Campus program or similar recreational tennis programs on campus in an effort to grow tennis participation within the campus community.

“Kim and Christine are great examples of coaches who give back to their communities and campuses,” said ITA Executive Director David A Benjamin. “Our hope is that their extraordinary efforts continue to inspire other varsity coaches to emulate the great work they are doing. We strongly believe that becoming more involved in local and campus community programs is vitally important for today’s college coaches. These awards help highlight the coaches who have made crucial efforts through their involvement.”

“The USTA is very proud of the contributions these extremely special coaches have made on their campuses and within their local communities,” says Glenn Arrington, USTA National Manager of Tennis On Campus. “Not only do these fine coaches help pave the way for future generations of tennis players they provide leadership and example for hundreds of other coaches nationwide that can benefit from engaging in campus and community outreach.”

This year’s national winners were selected from a group of USTA Sectional winners determined this fall. This awards program, which began in 2003, was open to over 2,000 ITA head and assistant coaches at the NCAA Divisions I, II and III, NAIA and Junior/Community College levels.

Kim Gidley, who is also the award winner for the USTA/Intermountain Section, is in her 14th season as a tennis coach and in her 12th as Head Coach of the U.S. Air Force Academy’s women’s tennis program. Gidley has made promoting tennis within the Colorado Springs community a priority in her time at USAFA. Some of the many accomplishments that Gidley can be credited with include programs designed for the local youth. “Girl Scout Badge for Tennis” allows girl scouts to earn a badge by taking part in a workshop put on by the players that teaches them the history of the game while learning how to serve and keep score. “Kids Force” is an after-school program in its eighth year, that is designed to teach kids the game of tennis while keeping them off the streets. The “TESSA Pro/Am” is great opportunity for kids and participants of all ages to team up in an event that serves as a social mixer with the community. Speaking of “Servicing the Community”, this is a program that was recently started in which each team member has a pledge sheet for sponsors to make charitable donations for each ace they hit on the season.

Gidley has dedicated so much time and effort to boost the interests and the economy of the Colorado Springs area by hosting eight or nine tennis events each year including: the USAFA Fall Invite, USAFA Intramural Championships, the Air Force Sports and USTA Leadership Camps, the ITA Rocky Mountain Summer Circuit, USTA Campus Showdowns as well as the USTA West Zone Team Championships. All the while, Gidley serves as the Course Director for tennis at Air Force as well a USPTA instructor at the USPTA Intermountain Convention each February.

Christine Davis, who is in her 31st year of coaching, has spent her whole career as the Women’s Head Coach at Smith College. She has been an annual staple for the USTA/ITA awards, having been named a sectional winner in 2004, ‘05 and ‘08 for her efforts in promoting college tennis on the Smith College campus and in the Northampton (MA) community. In fact, a few years ago, Davis’ efforts were recognized by receiving an ITA/USTA Community Service Grant to further assist the funding of some of the great programs that Smith College has to offer on campus. The programs have continued to flourish under the direction of Davis and the many tennis enthusiasts in the community who are willing to donate their time and energy to make many of the tennis programs offered this year and the past possible.

Many of these programs are targeted to the local youth such as “The Youth Tennis Clinic”, “Girl Scouts Plus” and “Rally Ball” which gives kids the opportunity to learn the game of tennis through various clinics administered by the Smith College tennis team. Each summer, the Smith tennis program offers free instruction to the neighboring housing project children as well as providing a week of coaching to inner-city children from Chicago each year. The local youth are not the only ones that can benefit from the great tennis programs that Smith College has to offer with events such as “Twilight Tennis”, an opportunity to play under the lights for free of charge every Friday night. The rising popularity of Cardiotennis is also making an appearance on Smith campus with “Bootcamp”, a program designed to play tennis while getting in shape. Davis’ tennis program has also been instrumental in many national programs such as hosting USTA Campus Showdowns, QuickStart outings, and a series of clinics designed for the National Girl’s and Women’s Sports Day. Smith is currently on the Executive Board of the HCSC (Hampshire County Smith Club), a participant and administrator in the Babe Zaharias Golf and Tennis Classic, organized by the American Cancer Society, while also serving on the ITA Small College Operating Committee as a NCAA Division III representative.

USTA/ITA Community Outreach Award - Sectional Winners:

Honors an ITA coach for significant contributions in developing community-based tennis programs through community centers, schools, parks, community tennis associations, inner city, suburban or rural programs.

USTA/ITA Campus Recreation Award - Sectional Winners:

Honors an ITA coach who has done an outstanding job implementing recreational tennis programs on campus in an effort to grow tennis participation.

Past National Award Recipients:

2008 - Lisa Hart, Washington State (Community Service), and Bill Macom, Florida Institute of Technology (Campus Recreation); 2007 - Craig Ward, Ouachita Baptist (Community Service), and Steve Wilkinson, Gustavus Adolphus (Community Outreach); 2006 - Chris Young, Wichita State (Community Service) and Dave Shook, Lehigh (Campus Recreation); 2005 - Michael Gennette, California Lutheran (Community Service) and Dee Henry, Biola (Campus Recreation); 2004 - J Webb Horton, Florida Gulf Coast (Community Service) and Kai Fong, Lewis-Clark State (Campus Recreation); 2003 - Greg Patton, Boise State (Community Service) and Laura Travis, Delaware (Campus Recreation)

For more information about the USTA/ITA Community Outreach and Campus Recreation Awards and for a complete listing of past National/Sectional winners, visit ITAtennis.com.

 

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