Volunteer Spotlight- Karen Fawthrop
Alex Hinckley, Director of Marketing | April 27, 2017
EAST LONGMEADOW, MA- Karen Fawthrop has been involved in tennis for nearly 20 years in New England and specifically in Western Massachusetts. Her path to the game was an unconventional one. In 1999, she worked in insurance and was self-claimed ‘not athletic’ when she decided to take an 8-week beginner class to try out the sport.
During that session, sparks flew for Karen both on and off the court. She immediately took to the game. “I had barely picked up a racquet before so I didn’t know if I would be able to play,” said Karen.
The coach of the beginner class, Michael Myers, encouraged her along the way and noticed something in her beyond the class. He recruited her to be a USTA League Captain after the session ended. Karen humbly says, “Tennis needs an organizer and I really loved the game after that first class so I was happy to give it a shot. ADVERTISEMENT ”
That was the beginning of the love affair in tennis – and outside of the sport. Karen and Michael began dating and wed in 2006 (photo pictured above). She has been heavily involved in New England tennis ever since that class back in 1999. When many people think of tennis in Western Mass., they think of Karen and her contributions to the game.
Karen now works full-time at Enfield Tennis Club and volunteers in four different roles:
- President of USTA Western Massachusetts, where she has sat on the board for many years
- An active member of the USTA League Tennis Committee
- A member of the East Longmeadow Tennis Association
- A USTA League Captain of an 18 and Over 3.5 women’s team
She is also the USTA Junior Team Tennis Coordinator for Western Massachusetts and the USTA League Co-Coordinator of her area with Dawn Fleury – both are part-time roles where she has organized play for thousands of people over the years. She is also the Tournament Director of the Clem Easton Super Senior Men's tournament.
“The time and dedication that Karen puts into her many roles within USTA programs is a big reason why we see such success and growth in Western Massachusetts. She had made a major impact on the game,” said Jon Kostek, USTA New England Youth Play Manager.
For her, giving back to the sport has come full circle. She was introduced to the game as an adult and now she does her best to introduce others to the game every day.
“I just love the excitement when beginners pick up the game. You meet a lot of interesting people along the way. I love the relationships that form through tennis” says Karen.