New England

2023 Annual Award Winners Announced

James Maimonis, Manager, Media & Communications | September 26, 2023

WESTBOROUGH, MA - The New England tennis community is rich with volunteers, difference-makers and lovers of the game willing to go above and beyond to grow and improve tennis at the local level. In 2023, seven special people and organizations will be honored and presented their awards at a ceremony at New England Tennis Weekend on November 4 in Natick, MA. 


“We’re grateful to have such a passionate community dedicated to growing the sport of tennis. These award winners have made tennis their life’s work, and we’re excited to celebrate them at Tennis Weekend,” said USTA New England Executive Director and CEO, Lindsey Keeler.     


Here are this year’s award winners: 


National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL) Chapter of the Year - Advantage Kids (Gilford, NH)

Organization of the Year - Guilford Racquet and Swim Club (Guilford, CT)

Community Tennis Association (CTA) of the Year - Lee CTA (Lee, MA)

Junior Provider of the Year - Monica Herman (New Marlborough, MA)

Diversity Champion of the Year - Regina Lawson (Norwell, MA)

Junior Community Impact Award - Jolie Zink (Chestnut Hill, MA)

Good Sport of the Year - Bea Molson (Jericho, VT) 


Learn more about the winners below: 


National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL) Chapter of the Year - Advantage Kids (Gilford, NH)


Advantage Kids introduces New Hampshire's youth to the benefits of tennis and yoga, developing them in mind and body. New Hampshire’s only NJTL, the organization offers tennis and yoga classes throughout the Granite State and is constantly looking to expand its coverage area. Advantage Kids partners with local schools, clubs and organizations to ensure all programs are free to students. 


In addition to learning tennis and yoga, students benefit from all that comes with the activities, including resilience, self-confidence, self-regulation, balance and flexibility. 


This year, Advantage Kids partnered with Rally for Tennis as well as the Bryan Brothers as part of fundraising events to enhance its programming. 


The organization has also assisted a number of students financially, allowing them to live out their tennis dreams. 


Advantage Kids now offers match play opportunities for its students in the Lakes Region with hopes to expand to more of the state.  


Organization of the Year - Guilford Racquet and Swim Club (Guilford, CT)


Guilford Racquet and Swim (GRSC) has created a community of passionate tennis players by providing extensive programming, education, and engagement activities for all ages, interests and skill levels.


The club invests in its staff, infrastructure and members to maintain this dynamic and thriving community, and for its efforts this year, it was given a National USTA Outstanding Facility Award during the US Open. 


GRSC offers USTA League tennis, junior tournaments, Junior Team Tennis, clinics and lessons, college showcases and hosts a number of adaptive tennis programs. 


Coaches invest equally in players, supporting the inclusive community the club has built. 


The infrastructure is even thoughtfully designed to support equality and inclusivity, including the furniture being arranged in large clusters to encourage post-play gatherings. 


Community Tennis Association (CTA) of the Year - Lee CTA (Lee, MA)


The Lee CTA strives to keep tennis alive and well in Berkshire County in an affordable and inclusive way. With programs for players of all ages and abilities, Lee CTA prides itself on recruiting local coaches from nearby high school teams and retaining them into college and even beyond.   


Lee CTA provides youth lessons on centrally located courts in Lee and Lenox, accessible to youth all across the county. Adult lessons are run on both hard and clay courts in town in order to attract a wider audience. 


The organization also offers Junior Team Tennis for middle and high school players in the 14U and 18U divisions, as well as a low-cost public  World TeamTennis program. 


Lee CTA provides up to four scholarships per year to graduating seniors who have given back to the Berkshire community. 


Junior Provider of the Year - Monica Herman (New Marlborough, MA)


Monica is a PTR certified coach, high school coach and Youth Tennis Director for Lee CTA. 


After making a career in Eastern Massachusetts that included stops at Sportsmen’s Tennis & Enrichment Center and Braintree High School, Monica moved west to grow tennis in the Berkshires. 


Monica took over the boys’ and girls’ coaching duties at Lenox High in 2022, and in just her second season she led the girls’ varsity team to the state semifinals, knocking off the No. 4 seed on the way. 


Monica worked as the Director of Tennis and Programming for Berkshire Moonball Tennis Academy while helping out with the Lee CTA, assisting high school players and coaches. She brought together new and experienced coaches to work as a cohesive unit to run a successful six-week youth summer program. 


Monica now works as the Youth Tennis Director for Lee CTA, teaching, coaching and recruiting more area youth into the game. This past summer, she recruited one of her high school players, a native Spanish speaker from Ecuador, to intern for her to set up an outreach program to help attract more Hispanic players to the game.   


Diversity Champion of the Year - Regina Lawson (Norwell, MA)


Regina has nearly three decades of experience working with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She is passionate about supporting programs that promote inclusion in the community. 


Regina is a member of the USTA New England Adaptive committee and is integral in running the annual New England Adaptive Tennis Qualifier. This year, she was able to bring in new players from adaptive programs throughout the state. 


Regina also coaches for the Lob-Stars, an adaptive tennis program based out of the South Shore YMCA in Hanover, MA. The Lob-Stars are the YMCA’s Special Olympics team and provide an inclusive tennis program for adults with disabilities. The team won the USTA National Adaptive Community Service Award in 2019. 


For 20 years, Regina has also been a dedicated volunteer for the Special Olympics Massachusetts, organizing fundraising events such as the Polar Plunge. 


Regina and her husband, Jim, created a memorial foundation for their son, Andrew, who had Down Syndrome. Andrew was 27 years old when he passed away in 2018 after a two year battle with cancer. The foundation was created to improve the lives of people with disabilities through programs and scholarships.  


Junior Community Impact Award - Jolie Zink (Chestnut Hill, MA)


Jolie has competed at the highest levels in junior tennis, from winning high school and Junior Team Tennis championships to playing against the best in New England and the nation in USTA tournaments. However, to her, tennis is much more than about winning and rankings. 


Tennis is her community. She has met friends for life, teammates and partnerships through the sport, and that's something that can never be replaced. 


In her free time, Jolie volunteers with Tenacity, a Boston-based NJTL, mentoring young players in hopes of instilling her love of tennis in the future generations. 


In June, Jolie was part of Rally for Tennis’ third-annual Boston fundraiser benefiting Advantage Kids. Jolie exceeded her fundraising goal and raised more than any other contributor, bringing in $3,107 for the organization. 


Jolie was selected as a ball kid for the 2021 Laver Cup in Boston. She also currently serves as a USTA New England ambassador. 


Good Sport of the Year- Bea Molson (Jericho, VT)


Bea won the Vermont individual state championship in 2023 and followed it up by leading her Mount Mansfield Union High School team to a state title in 2023, both firsts for the school. 


Bea is a fierce competitor on the court who is kind and humble off of it.  


“She's a model of etiquette. She's obviously got beautiful strokes and strategy. And players look up at her skill set and try to be like Bea in some ways,” said her coach, Sandra Fary. 


Bea is a three-sport athlete, but holds a special love for tennis, her team and her coaches. 


Bea spent this past summer coaching at Burlington Tennis Club, sharing her passion for tennis with others around her.  


Congratulations to all of the 2023 award winners! 



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