OKTF to offer $100K in Scholarships
Carmen Bond, Oklahoma Tennis Foundation Executive Director, announced today that $50,000 will be donated to OKTF for college scholarships and another $50,000 for player development scholarships. According to Bond, “We are overjoyed to receive these generous gifts!! It will be exciting to see the positive impact they will make on deserving junior tennis players across the great State of Oklahoma.”
The Hirst/Starkey Family and the Braver Family will fully fund the Wayne Hirst College Scholarship Fund, which will be need-based and available to senior varsity tennis players. Hirst, a 3-time State High School Doubles Champion, grew up in Oklahoma City and was a 2-time NAIA All-American at East Texas State University. For 5 consecutive years, he was selected to play for the prestigious Gordon Cup Team senior event. In 2000, Hirst was chosen for the International Friendship Cup played in Myazaki, Japan. He was also inducted into the East Texas University Hall of Fame and the Missouri Valley Tennis Hall of Fame.
Rob Braver remembers, “Wayne Hirst was a great Junior player who often hitchhiked to tournaments, and most likely hitchhiked home. If housing hadn’t been provided by local tennis enthusiasts, Wayne wouldn’t have been able to play competitively and develop his skills. In speeches throughout his life, Wayne expressed gratitude for all those who helped him along the way. This scholarship in memory of Wayne represents his love of the game and his desire to give back to the game.”
Wayne used his business, Hirst Imports, to give back to the community through charitable functions he developed. Those entities include Tulsa’s Philbrook Museum of Art; Community Literacy Centers (serving 27,000 people); and numerous scholarships to students in the Oklahoma State University Hotel & Restaurant School.
In addition to Wayne’s dedication in philanthropic areas, Wayne held civic leadership positions on the Board of Directors of the Oklahoma Restaurant Association and Quail Creek Country Club and served as president of the Oklahoma City Petroleum Club
Carmen Bond also announced the establishment of a $50,000 scholarship fund that honors Bill Rompf, Oklahoma Hall of Fame member; former Executive Director and VP of the IMG/Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy; and Director of Tennis and VP, International Tennis Hall of Fame. Rompf scholarships will be need-based and provide funding for instruction, programs, equipment, and tournament travel and play expenses for talented OKC junior players who have already proven their ability and success in the sport, yet lack the adequate financial means to participate and reach their potential on a sectional and national level. This funding would be based on need, aspiration, potential, character, citizenship, academic achievement, sportsmanship, and desire. It would bridge a financial gap that is out of their control in order to reach their best and achieve their tennis dreams.
Rompf is well known in Oklahoma and USTA tennis circles for developing hundreds of High School and State champions, over 100 MVTA Sectional champions, and over 75 National Juniors champions in both singles and doubles, many ranking as high as No. 1 in the USTA during the 1970’s and 80’s in OKC, including 7 USTA National Sportsmanship Awards. He is a member of the Choate School, Iowa, and Missouri Valley Tennis Hall of Fames and holds several industry awards. His players represented OKC nationally and internationally, including hundreds of college scholarships. Rompf’s students included the Braver brothers (Rob and Joey), Mary Norwood/Rompf, Brian Devening, Krunch and Paul Kloberdanz, and Bryan and Meredith Geiger/Walton to name a few.
Rob Braver, one of Rompf’s very first Oklahoma City students when he began in OKC in 1972 stated, “Rompf had a dream to produce top national junior tennis players out of the OKC area, and he did that. His students have achieved incredible success both on and off the court, and many are still playing and teaching the game with the tools, ideals and character they learned right here in OKC. This scholarship continues his legacy of junior tennis excellence, and I am very proud to be a part of it.”
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