Captain Spotlight: Katherine Filer
“I don’t believe in impossible,” said Jersey Hot Shots Captain Katherine Filer. The lifelong tennis player was thinking back, reflecting on her initial introduction to USTA League.
An avid player, Filer had made a promise to herself that when she turned 60, she would join a USTA team. Unfortunately, at the time, there were no 3.0 teams in her area. So, she met with the New Jersey District (NJD) Area League Coordinator, Amy Filippone, in an effort to start a team of her own.
With the support of Filippone and the commitment of Filer, the Jersey Hot Shots hit the courts in 2020. In their first season, the team of nine earned a spot at New Jersey District Championships, and grew even closer together as a team.
“I didn’t even know I was a competitive person until I started playing in the leagues,” Filer said.
Now the Jersey Hot Shots have 29 players split between three teams – two 3.0 teams and a 3.5 team. Each team has seen success so far this year.
It is Filer’s welcoming and inclusive attitude that draws players to her teams.
“I want everyone’s voice to be heard,” she said. “I believe we are all on our own journey and it shows up playing tennis. It shows up inside of a team.”
Though challenges presented themselves early on in the creation of the team, Filer took each of those obstacles head on. Her role as captain is one she embraces and finds rewarding.
“One of my players said the greatest thing to me: ‘I found my happy place on this team’.”