2020 Community Champions: Tim Blenkiron wins Eve Kraft Community Service Award
WATCH: Bob and Mike Bryan honor Tim Blenkiron
On Dec. 2, the USTA's Celebrating Community Champions virtual event honored 2020 award-winners in a variety of service-based categories. In the absence of a 2020 USTA Annual Meeting, each honoree received a surprise virtual call from a tennis legend as a thank-you for their contributions to growing the game of tennis.
Tim Blenkiron of Las Vegas is the recipient of the 2020 USTA Eve Kraft Community Service Award.
Blenkiron founded No Quit Tennis Academy in 2006 and since then has impacted thousands of people through the inspirational programs and curriculum he created. As part of his program, he implemented Team Agassi and Team Bryan which has transformed the Las Vegas community by providing an equal playing field where all children are invited, included and celebrated. His organization has mentored and supported many youngth players from under-served communities, using tennis as a vehicle to teach children leadership, sportsmanship, a strong work ethic, and a passion for excellence.
Blenkiron is also known for his free tennis campaign, which offers free tennis to kids from under-served communities every Sunday. Blenkiron was also a major player in bringing World Team Tennis’ Vegas Rollers to the city of Las Vegas, further expanding the reach of tennis in the community. With the same drive and passion as Eve Kraft, he also started the first NJTL Excellence Team, a program that supports student-athletes with the greatest desire, athletic potential and financial need.
“Tim’s passion and dedication to providing kids with the powerful combination of sports, education and mentoring is truly changing lives,” said Craig Morris, USTA Chief Executive, Community Tennis. “His world-class programs and inclusive culture have impacted the sport beyond the local community, working with the USTA, the USTA Foundation and many other tennis programs across the country to grow the sport and most of all, change lives for the better.”
The USTA awards the Eve Kraft Community Service Award to individuals who best exemplify Kraft’s selfless mission to bring the sport of tennis to everyone who wants to play. Kraft was a tennis pioneer whose ability to touch people’s lives exceeded the boundaries of the tennis court. As a teacher, coach, author, USTA staff member and volunteer, Kraft was a lifelong champion of recreational tennis in the U.S. until her death in 1999. She introduced thousands of young people to tennis, particularly in disadvantaged communities.