USTA Adaptive Tennis Committee | June 1, 2019
Jack Foster was born in the border town of Laredo, Texas in 1941, with numerous physical abnormalities. Specifically, he was born with congenital spastic paralysis of his right arm and right leg. As a child, nobody told him he was different.
In 1971, he and a girlfriend took mixed doubles lessons and ended up competing in and winning the mixed doubles league. He caught the tennis bug and began creating friendships with tennis players and pros before deciding that tennis could be his life-long sport and vocation. Subsequently, he discovered that it could also be a career.
He was initially certified by the USPTA in 1991, and in 2016 he qualified as a master tennis professional--the highest achievement only reached by less than 1% of teaching pros. He has taught stroke survivors, wheelchair players, amputee players, as well as children with autism and other intellectual and physical disabilities. ADVERTISEMENT Jack has done it all!
Unfortunately, he had to stop playing tournaments 25 years ago because of a lung disease which has left him with only 50% of lung capacity. Along the road he also became a cancer survivor. Jack’s ability to overcome many obstacles and challenges through perseverance and dedication is a testament to his passion for tennis.
During his free time, Mr. Foster volunteers for the USPTA on National Committees--Education, as well as Diversity and Inclusion. For USTA Texas, he served many years on the Adaptive Committee, and this year is a member of its Nominating Committee.
Jack’s latest recognition was earlier this year when he was inducted into the Latin American International Sports Hall of Fame based in his hometown of Laredo for his life-long efforts to introduce tennis to special athletes. In life and in tennis, Jack Foster has certainly beaten the odds.