Weiss Wins Gold Star Award
Tennis is a great opportunity to meet new people and connect with others through a sport that can be competitive. More importantly, it is very social. Tennis is also a great way to give back.
To Connie Weiss, USTA Missouri Valley Gold Star award winner, tennis has played an important role in getting to know others throughout her life. Weiss currently serves as a league coordinator for USTA St. Louis. She is in charge of mixed leagues in the area.
The Gold Star award recognizes winners for contributions that support and grow the game in the USTA Missouri Valley.
Her husband served in the US Navy for 24 years and Connie used tennis to get to know others in areas unknown each time she and her family were stationed somewhere new.
“My favorite thing about tennis is the people I have met,” she said. “My husband served in the US Navy for 24 years, and we moved 12 times. At each new duty station, once I got my daughters settled in school, I would find the local tennis courts, set up a lesson to meet the pro so they could introduce me to players. I have met so many wonderful people who have become lifelong friends because of tennis.”
Her life journey – and tennis journey – has taken Connie all around the world. Tennis has a common language, Connie discovered. When she was living in Japan, she didn’t speak the language, but it didn’t matter when it came time to hit the court.
All the players loved the sport, just like Connie.
“When we lived in Japan, I played in their local league, and I was the only foreigner in the group. It did not matter that I couldn’t speak their language. They accepted me and welcomed me into their tennis club.”
Here in St. Louis, her desire to establish relationships through tennis lives on. Alyssa Stelmach, USTA Missouri Valley Adult Leagues Manager, said that Connie’s love for the game is obvious through her actions.
“She has a contagious love and passion for the game and USTA,” Stelmach said. “She has also attended our annual meeting and training to further her knowledge of USTA and leagues. She is a joy to be around and a true advocate for USTA Missouri Valley.”
That passion began as a young child. Her father is the person who began teaching her the beauty of the sport. He began teaching Connie tennis around the age of ten.
She played in high school and then stopped. Connie picked up the game again later in life – about a decade later – and has been playing ever since.
“My dad painted a line on the back of our garage, and I used to hit against that backboard,” she said. “What fun!”
Connie has made volunteerism fun, too. She has spent many hours giving back to tennis.
“Giving back is easy if you’re doing something you love,” she said. “My favorite week of the year is the USTA US Open Wheelchair Tournament. The volunteers work as ball persons, and being on the court with those amazing athletes is a highlight of the year.”
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