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Middle States

Remember Neil Chase

A Tennis Pioneer

May 31, 2019
<p><span class="articletitle">Remember Neil Chase</span></p>
<p><span class="articlesubtitle">A Tennis Pioneer</span></p>

A Tennis Pioneer - Neil Chase

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A Tennis Pioneer - Neil Chase

Neil Chase Obituary
Neil Chase with Fred Perry
Neil Chase in Tennis USA 1979
Neil Chase 1983 Tennis Magazine
Maplewood circa 1980 and 1880
Chase Davis Cup Teams

Neil Chase passed away last December, and his obituary was laced with anecdotes about tennis, family, community and education.

 

But words alone can not describe the visionary that was Neil Chase, and the influence he continues to have on tennis and those involved with the game.

 

Chase was a leading educator and a founding father of tennis and golf camps on the east coast of the United States. A 2012 inductee into The International Tennis Hall of Fame, his camps stretched from New England to Pennsylvania. A life-long member of the USPTA, Chase is regarded as one of the deans of tennis instruction. But the focus of his teaching was much more than tennis.

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Chase was a natural educator — something passed down from his father, a school Headmaster. To Chase, tennis and education went hand and hand. This was further engraved into Chase’s mind by Edwin J. Faulkner, one of the most respected tennis instructors in the history of the game.

 

“Ed Faulkner was a mentor to my dad and provided the basis for early tennis instruction,” said Chrissy Sinatra, Chase’s daughter and currently the Development Director at Greater Pottstown Tennis & Learning. “He worked with Faulkner on his first tennis curriculum.”

 

The Chase Tennis Camps were the first of their kind to teach tennis to thousands of young players while also training hundreds of coaches and future camp directors. Chase’s philosophy encouraged social and emotional learning with opportunities to participate in art, musical theater, meditation, environmental conservation, hiking, rock climbing, camping and community life.

 

The camps often featured speakers and guests to open the minds of the attendees. Tim Gallwey, who wrote the Inner Game of Tennis, visited the camp, and his teachings of mindfulness and meditation became the basis for a social and emotional approach to character development.  Sir Fred Perry, English Davis Cup Player once Knighted at a ceremony at Wimbledon, visited and gave talks on championship play and being a gentleman.

 

Chase had other impacts, as well. He was an integral part of bringing the Volvo International USTA Tournament to New England, where Jimmy Conners and Vital Guerulaitis played, among others.

 

Learn more about the impact Greater Pottstown Tennis & Learning is making in the community. 

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