Carol Ward Earns Gold Star
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 USTA Iowa this July is Carol Ward, president of the Great River Tennis Association in Muscatine, Iowa.
After moving to Muscatine in 1980, Ward met a group of women who were active players. She played weekly with them, in addition to joining the Muscatine Industrial League, USTA Leagues and playing in summer tournaments.
“Tennis has always been filled with friends, fun and the highs of competition,” said Ward. “I was encouraged by a friend to coach the Muscatine girls tennis team, so for 10 years, I also coached.”
Ward has also served as president of the Great River Tennis Association for many years, helping to add more tennis opportunities for kids to learn and practice. Her role has involved a variety of activities to keep interest in tennis alive. She’s helped in the search for teaching pros, training teachers and acquiring and supporting indoor courts. She helps plan community play days, junior tennis and events like The Wooden Tennis Tourney.
Ward says USTA Iowa tennis service representative, John Terpkosh, was only a phone call away to answer questions and support the community tennis association.
“[Carol’s] been a great volunteer and advocate for tennis,” said Terpkosh. “She served many years as the Awards Chair for USTA Iowa and helped promote Public Facility Assistance to the school district which got physical education training and equipment for their school district. She is constantly looking for ways to grow and keep tennis alive in Muscatine.”
Great River Tennis Association hosts a USTA junior sanctioned tournament each year. Thanks to the efforts of its volunteers to clean courts, offer sponsorships and spend the days supervising the tourney, the event was named USTA Iowa Junior Tournament of the Year in 2019.
“I’m proud to have been a part of Great River Tennis,” said Ward. “Circumstances have changed this year. We truly have a challenge to keep playing. But every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning the courts are busy with the veteran players. [This award] means a lot to me since tennis has been a big part of my life. Being recognized is sweet.”