RSI Names 2011 'Champions of Tennis'
Pat Freebody, who recently retired from the U.S. Tennis Association after decades of service to the sport of tennis in various capacities, has been named 2011 “Person of the Year” by Racquet Sports Industry magazine in the publication’s January 2012 issue. RSI is the world’s largest tennis trade publication.
Freebody led off the magazine’s 11th annual “Champions of Tennis Awards,” which honors people, companies and organizations dedicated to improving the sport and business of tennis.
Freebody joined the USTA’s national office in 1996 and was a managing director of the organization up until her retirement in September. She was charged with managing USTA Leagues, Junior Team Tennis, Flex Leagues, and wheelchair tennis and adult tournaments. Her path through tennis, however, took her through all aspects of the sport: as an athlete, coach , club manager, USTA section executive director, and World TeamTennis executive.
“Pat loves tennis, and her impact on the sport during her career is pretty remarkable,” says Kurt Kamperman, the USTA’s chief executive of Community Tennis. “She is someone who has definitely made a difference in growing tennis participation in the U.S.”
“Pat Freebody has brought a passion for tennis to all aspects of the sport—from competitive play, to the business side, to helping to guide its future,” says Peter Francesconi, editorial director of Racquet Sports Industry. “She may have ‘retired’ from the USTA, but I don’t think she’ll ever be able to walk away from this sport that she loves.”
RSI (tennisindustrymag.com), the world’s largest magazine geared toward the tennis industry, also named winners in 19 other categories for its 2011 Champions of Tennis Awards:
- Private Facility of the Year: Western Racquet Club, Elm Grove, Wis.
- Stringer of the Year: Todd Mobley, Cumming, Ga.
- Builder/Contractor of the Year: Leslie Coatings Inc., Indianapolis, Ind.
- Sales Rep of the Year: Lee Sponaugle, Salt Lake City, Utah
- Pro/Specialty Retailer of the Year: All About Tennis, Scottsdale, Ariz.
- Tennis Advocate of the Year: Mike Woody, Midland, Mich.
- Junior Tennis Champion of the Year: Jeff Rothstein, Chatham, N.J.
- Grassroots Champion of the Year: Brenda Gilmore, Prince George’s County, Md.
- Municipal Facility of the Year: Roger Scott Tennis Center, Pensacola, Fla.
- Park & Recreation Agency of the Year: Tualatin Hills Park & Rec District, Beaverton, Ore.
- Wheelchair Tennis Champion of the Year: Jeremiah Yolkut, White Plains, N.Y.
- 10 and Under Tennis Facility Developer of the Year: Hinding Tennis, West Haven, Conn.
- Public Park of the Year: Cadwalader Park, Trenton, N.J.
- Community Tennis Association of the Year: Bucks County Tennis Association, Pa.
- Professional Tennis Registry Member of the Year: Jorge Capestany, Holland, Mich.
- U.S. Professional Tennis Association Member of the Year: Feisal Hassan, Midlothian, Va.
- High School Coaches of the Year: Jim Neal, Schenectady, N.Y., and Jim Solomon, Hartford, Conn.
- U.S. Tennis Association Section of the Year: USTA Middle States
- Chain Retailer/Mass Merchant of the Year: PGA Tour Superstores, Atlanta, Ga.
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