Missouri Valley / Heart Of America

Frye Awarded For Impact On Junior Tennis

July 30, 2020

In honor of our 100th anniversary in 2020, the USTA Missouri Valley will be recognizing 100 deserving tennis providers, players, partners and more across our section throughout the year.


Selected nominees will be given a Gold Star award, recognizing them for the contributions they are making to support and grow the game in the USTA Missouri Valley based on specific program areas and attributes. 


One of the award winners from within the USTA Heart of America this July is Arlene Frye, Chair of the Missouri Valley Junior Competition Committee (JCC).


“The fact that the (USTA Missouri Valley) acknowledged contributions that I have made to tennis and the Missouri Valley was just unbelievable,” she said. “I feel so honored.”


Frye is not a new face in the USTA Missouri Valley.

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Starting in 2008, she served as a member of the Scheduling and Sanctioning Committee. In that time, she was able to learn the ins and outs of committee operations. This prepared her to step into her role as the JCC’s chair, which she took over at the beginning of 2019.


In addition to being the chair for the JCC, Frye also is an official for many junior section and district tournaments, as well.


“I already knew a lot about how junior competition worked,” she said. “I was able to build an understanding by asking a lot of questions.”


Born in the Philippines, tennis has played a foundational role in Frye’s life. She speaks of the sport as if it were a long-time friend, making note of its appearances at family gatherings and events as she was growing up.

After moving to the United States in 1970, Frye continued her involvement in tennis. As she has raised her family, the tennis tradition has carried on. Her three children all played the sport, and her youngest, Bradley, is preparing for his junior year on the tennis team at the University of Southern California.


“When (Bradley) graduated high school in 2018, I started thinking about what I could do to give back to tennis,” she said. “Nikki Chambers asked me to chair the JCC, and it’s been a wonderful year-and-a-half.”


Noah Bortnick, USTA Missouri Valley Junior Competition Manager, nominated Frye for the Gold Star award. He speaks highly of the work that she has done and the commitment that she has displayed to the USTA.


“Arlene is incredibly dedicated to helping grow tennis in our section,” Bortnick said. “As the chair of the JCC, she spends countless hours looking at ways the Committee can improve the junior experience. In this past year, Arlene has been extremely instrumental in implementing the new USTA Missouri Valley junior structure and reorganizing the junior competition after the suspension due to COVID-19.”


To Frye, working in the tennis community is a joy. To those around Frye, her dedication is obvious and her efforts to expand the sport are worthy of praise.


“When you volunteer in an area that you enjoy, you never expect anything back,” she said. “You want to do anything and everything that you can, so this award is very special.”

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