2017 AWARD WINNERS
What a year it’s already been for tennis in the Mid-Atlantic! From nights under the bubble in the dead of winter to sweltering hot days at tennis camp throughout the summer, we’re continually blown away by the enthusiasm kids are bringing to the sport, the creativity coaches are using to make their programs better and the dedication from organizations to engage new players.
When we opened nominations for the 2017 USTA Mid-Atlantic Awards, we knew it wasn’t going to be an easy task narrowing down the field of qualified candidates – and that turned out to be an understatement. After much deliberation, though, we’re ready to unveil the 2017 USTA Mid-Atlantic Award Winners!
Diversity and Inclusion Champion (Organization): The ACE Project provides opportunities for underserved children in West Baltimore to participate in free after school tennis programming in elementary schools that will benefit them socially, emotionally and behaviorally. ADVERTISEMENT
Diversity and Inclusion Champion (Individual): Marie Adams is tournament director at Plasma Sport, Inc. in Washington and has given many kids the chance to play in tournaments who wouldn’t normally be able to participate by hosting them in urban areas and subsidizing registration fees.
Emerging Leader Award: James McKane, a high schooler in Frederick, Md., organized a Kids Play for Good on-court tennis rally benefitting Stand for the Silent, an anti-bullying organization. The event raised thousands of dollars to combat bullying in schools.
Growth of the Game Teaching Professional: Starr Foster and Rob Johnston are coaches who consistently bring new ideas to engage their communities. Starr has encouraged a number of girls in Georgetown to pick up a racquet for the first time and is a champion of Junior Team Tennis. Rob has created a number of new programs to get kids and adults involved at Three Chopt Recreation Club in Richmond.
Volunteer of the Year: Dr. Derek Sabedra supports the growth of tennis in St. Mary’s County, Md. in a number of ways. He coaches, is a Junior Team Tennis coordinator, works with high schools and acts as tournament director, stepping in wherever his expertise is needed.
Innovative Sport Programming: Roanoke Valley Tennis Association has had longstanding quality programming, but this year they’ve stepped up their game by offering a series of low-cost youth and beginner clinics by partnering with local parks and recreation organizations, among other initiatives to get new players involved in tennis.
Most Valuable Member: Anne Jones has helped Blacksburg, Va., catch the tennis bug by offering clinics, captaining teams and encouraging new players, both young and old, to get out on the court and have fun playing tennis. Anne was also instrumental in creating the Blacksburg Community Tennis Association.
Congratulations to all these incredible winners!