True’s Dedication Earns Gold Star
In honor of its 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 fall is Susan True, who has volunteered at the local and section level for nearly 20 years.
“I feel so honored that the people who work so hard with tennis everyday would think that my contributions were enough to receive this award,” True said.
While True has always loved sport, her passion for tennis did not arise until later in her life. Before her work with the USTA, she was a high school physical education teacher and worked for the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS). She also served on the board of directors for USA Volleyball, Gymnastics and Field Hockey.
“Sports have played a big role in my professional life,” she said. “When I was in high school, they didn’t think that girls should participate in athletics. They didn’t think that we had the physicality or emotional control to be athletes. But I went to work at Washburn as their gymnastics coach when Title IX was passed and became a real advocate for Title IX.”
True’s love for tennis wasn’t sparked until her godson asked her to be the sponsor for his summer league tennis team. She took her duties seriously, organizing practices for the team and handing out readings for the team to do. The team ended up winning their league and True was hooked.
Since then, she has served as Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer of USTA Missouri Valley, Chaired the Awards Committee at both the section and district levels, and worked at the Kansas City Explorers World Team Tennis matches. She is still a frequent volunteer at tournaments around the Heart of America.
“I was fortunate enough to work on several USTA committees,” she said. “It’s been a wonderful, wonderful experience.”
In her first years with the USTA, she used her connections with the NFHS to help strengthen high school tennis in the United States. She suggested that the USTA send a representative to the NFHS’s summer meeting, and played a role in assuring the NFHS that the USTA was there to help.
“I always felt that my role was to help the national governing body understand what the role of high schools were,” True said. “We didn’t want to take over any programs, we just wanted to help them out.”
Susan True has done exemplary work throughout her life, not just in expanding the game of tennis, but as an advocate for women in sport. She was a founding member of the WIN for KC, Women’s in Sports Network. USTA Missouri Valley is proud to present her with a Gold Star Award.