USPTA recognizes leaders in tennis
The United States Professional Tennis Association honored those who stand out and go above and beyond in all aspects of the tennis industry, from tennis coaches to players to volunteers during its annual national awards breakfast today at the USPTA World Conference on Tennis. USPTA, the world’s oldest and largest association of tennis-teaching professionals, is hosting its annual World Conference Sept. 16-21 at the Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel & Spa in Monterey, Calif.
Doris Hart of Coral Gables, Fla., became part of an elite group as a grand inductee into the USPTA’s Hall of Fame. Hart, who won 35 Grand Slam titles during her career and is only one of three players to have a “boxed set,” has been a tennis-teaching professional and a USPTA member since she retired from the tour in 1955.
Pancho Segura of Carlsbad, Calif., also became part of an elite group as a grand inductee into the USPTA’s Hall of Fame. Segura, who was a former leading tennis player of the 1940s and 1950s, both as an amateur and a professional and in 1950 and 1952 was the World Co-No. 1 player, became a tennis-teaching professional for many years and joined the USPTA in 1946. He was widely credited with helping develop the young Jimmy Connors.
David Porter of Laie, Hawaii, received the association’s top annual member award, the Alex Gordon Award for the USPTA Professional of the Year. Porter has been involved in teaching tennis for 35 years and a USPTA member for more than 25 years.
Geoff Griffin of San Diego, Calif., is the recipient of the USTA/USPTA Community Service Award. He has been a USPTA member for 27 years and has continued to give to his community through tennis. He has been the director of tennis at Balboa Tennis Club since 1989.
Ken Sumrow of Plano, Texas, is the director of tennis at High Point Park Tennis Center and has had a tremendous impact on the growth of tennis participation by focusing on offering a comprehensive program of instructional programs and play programs that provide a pathway for all players to fully enjoy the game. The numbers for the instructional and play programs soared from July 2011 to June 2012. His work with the Plano tennis community and High Point Park Tennis Center is what earned him the USPTA Industry Excellence Award, recognizing business acumen and a charitable attitude. The award is sponsored by the Tennis Industry Association and supported by Tennis Tutor ball machines.
The USPTA Star, recognizing teaching professionals who make an indelible mark on their communities through the sport of tennis, was awarded to Catherine Thomas, of Mason, Ohio. Thomas, who is the director of tennis at Lindner Family Tennis Center, has made significant contributions to tennis in both Ohio and Arizona by creating, organizing and teaching afterschool tennis programs for private and public schools in both states. Kyle Kaneshiro of Honolulu, Hawaii, received the Lessons for Life Individual Award for his all his efforts in the tennis community as director of tennis at Moanalua High School, including raising $200,000 for the Moanalua High School Tennis Lights Project.
Dave Neuhart of Madison, Ga., received the Lessons for Life Individual Award for his charity events at the Reynolds Plantation/PBI, including the Columbus Celebrity Classic, which is held in support of the John B. Amos Cancer Center in Columbus.
Jackie Roe of Greenville, Del., received the Tennis Across America Individual Award for her efforts in hosting Tennis in the Streets, a free tennis event for 800 children.
Angel Lopez of San Diego, Calif., received the USPTA Diversity Award for all he has done to bring tennis to those in San Diego who might not otherwise have the opportunity to try the sport, including sponsoring programs at several predominately low income high schools in the San Diego area.
Dee Henry of Norwalk, Calif., received the Manager of the Year Award - Small Facility. Henry is the tennis director at Biola University in La Mirada, Calif.
Trent Schiek of Tyler, Texas, received the Manager of the Year Award - Large Facility. Schiek is the former general manager of Hollytree Country Club in Tyler, Texas.
Other honorees are:
- Jonas Lundblad, Austin, Texas - Touring Coach of the Year
- Ron Albers, Vincennes, Ind. - College Coach of the Year
- William Wickenheisser, Whippany, N.J. - High School Coach of the Year
- Feisal Hassan, Midlothian, Va. - George Bacso Tester of the Year
The following have been named Player of the Year in their respective divisions:
- James Daly, Tyler, Texas - Men’s Open
- Jonas Lundblad, Austin, Texas - Men’s 35-and-over
- Jeff Cohen, Boca Raton, Fla. - Men’s 45-and-over
- Kimm Ketelsen, Tyler, Texas - Men’s 55-and-over
- Agata Cioroch, Atlanta, Ga. - Women’s Open
- Robin Keener, Melbourne, Fla. - Women’s 35-and-over
- Kathy Vick, Lubbock, Texas - Women’s 45-and-over
USPTA divisions receiving awards are:
- USPTA Texas Division - Large Division of the Year
- USPTA Southwest Division - Small Division of the Year
- USPTA Southern Division - Most Improved Division of the Year
- USPTA Southern Division - Newsletter of the Year
The USPTA National Awards program is conducted annually. Nominations are submitted by the 17 divisions and by individuals. Recipients in each awards category are decided by the USPTA’s awards committee.
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