The USTA has announced that Justin DePietropaolo of Chester Springs, Pa., has been selected as the recipient of the 2011 Janet Louer USTA Jr. Team Tennis National Organizer of the Year Award. The award is given to an individual who positively influences children’s lives and substantially makes an impact on his or her community.
The Janet Louer USTA Jr. Team Tennis National Organizer of the Year Award is named after Janet Louer, who was instrumental in the development of junior tennis programs during her lifetime. As the administrator for USTA Jr. Team Tennis (JTT) in Georgia, Louer built the state championships into the largest youth team tennis state championships in the nation. Her expertise also was utilized in the development of the Section and National Championships for the program.
"Jr. Team Tennis involvement has seen major growth and progress in the Philadelphia area thanks to the hard work and dedication of Justin DePietropaolo," said Kurt Kamperman, Chief Executive, Community Tennis, USTA. "We applaud his commitment to tennis and his community and proudly recognize him with this honor."
DePietropaolo has worked tirelessly to expand Jr. Team Tennis programs in a tri-county radius, by building relationships with high school coaches, clubs, local parks and recreation centers. As a result of his efforts, many of the clubs in his area now offer JTT programming.
In 2008, DePietropaolo formed the Philadelphia Area Team Tennis Association (PATTA). That same year, he also took over running the Chester County Summer Tennis League, which he helped start in January, 2007. Under his leadership, total league participation has grown in all age divisions, and now more than 1,000 players take part. Due to his enthusiasm and great reputation throughout the Philadelphia community, DePietropaolo has been able to raise money and gather sponsors which have been beneficial to the various tennis functions that he organizes.
DePietropaolo’s 10 and Under Tennis leagues also have helped increase JTT participation in the section. His league also was the first in the section to add a "travel" 10 and Under division, which had a tremendous turn-out. DePietropaolo also has helped grow middle school tennis in his area and inspired others to start more programming.
10 and Under Tennis is designed to help get more kids involved in the sport. Similar to other youth sports such as soccer and baseball, 10 and Under Tennis features equipment and courts scaled to kids’ size. Racquets are shorter and lighter, and courts are smaller. Balls bounce lower and move slower, thereby making them easier to hit and keep in play. Kids have fun learning the game and build confidence at the same time.
DePietropaolo will be honored at the United States Tennis Association Community Tennis Development Workshop held January 13 - 15, 2012 at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel in New Orleans, La, the largest annual gathering of grassroots tennis leaders in the United States.
USTA Jr. Team Tennis emphasizes the benefits of tennis such as teamwork and fitness for players of various age and skill levels. A competitive, multi-week program, USTA Jr. Team Tennis encourages boys and girls, ages 6 to 18 years old, to compete with teams from the same geographic region in five league divisions; 8 & under; 10 & under; 12 & under; 14 & under; and 18 & under.