NORTHERN NAMED 2017
SECTION OF THE YEAR
USTA Northern | December 19, 2017
USTA Northern was named the USTA Section of the Year for 2017 by Tennis Industry magazine in the publication's January 2018 issue as part of its 17th annual "Champions of Tennis" awards which honors people, businesses and organizations dedicated to improving the sport and business of tennis.
Several new programs were introduced for all ages and ability levels within USTA Northern in 2017, beginning with the Stars & Trophies 10U Youth Progression Pathway for ages 7 to 10. Team Northern was a new high performance program for ages 11 to 14, while World TeamTennis gave beginning and intermediate youth ages 12 to 18 more competitive opportunities with their friends. Tennis in Your Parks offered lessons for beginning adults or those returning to the game, while Matchline has placed 827 new players in USTA League teams over the past three years. ADVERTISEMENT Outreach events included Girls & Women in Tennis and Net Generation Forums.
"We are honored to be recognized as the 2017 USTA Section of the Year by Tennis Industry magazine," USTA Northern president Liz Hamburg said. "We might be small in size, but we are mighty in what we are able to do in growing and developing the game of tennis with all people in Minnesota, North and South Dakota and NW Wisconsin."
For the complete Champions of Tennis issue, click here.
In addition to Northern being recognized, Life Time National Tennis Director Ajay Pant was named the 2017 “Person of the Year." Pant, who is based at Life Time’s headquarters in Chanhassen, Minn., joined the company in March and oversees the tennis and racquet sports business. Currently, of Life Time’s 129 locations, 26 offer tennis, but that number is expected to increase in 2018. The company is the largest operator of indoor tennis facilities in the U.S.
Pant’s history and influence in the sport runs deep. He is one of only 10 tennis teaching professionals in the world designated as a Master Professional by the two main teaching organizations, the Professional Tennis Registry and the U.S. Professional Tennis Association. A sought-after industry presenter, he also is a longtime volunteer with the USTA and has been instrumental in key developments for bringing more youngsters into tennis.
Tennis Industry also named winners in 22 other categories for its 2017 Champions of Tennis Awards including:
* Tennis Industry Service Award: Michele Krause, Sarasota, Fla.
* Private/Commercial Facility of the Year: Five Star Tennis, Plainfield, Ill.
* Tennis Sales Representative of the Year: Stan Oley, Viera, Fla.
* Pro/Specialty Retailer of the Year: Sturtevant’s, Bellevue, Wash.
* Builder/Contractor of the Year: Competition Athletic Surfaces Inc., Chattanooga, Tenn.
* Grassroots Tennis Champion of the Year: Delaine Mast, Lancaster, Pa.
* Municipal Tennis Facility of the Year: Cooper Creek Tennis Center, Columbus, Ga.
* Stringer of the Year: Ray Wendeln, Sun City Ariz.
* Community Tennis Association of the Year: Advantage Kids, Gilmanton, N.H.
* Tennis Advocate of the Year: Jane Gamble, Paducah, Ky.
* Wheelchair Tennis Champions of the Year: Annette & Jim Buck, Los Angeles, Calif.
* Junior Tennis Champion of the Year: Rita Gladstone, Orlando, Fla.
* Public Park of the Year: Patsy T. Mink Central Oahu Regional Park, Hawaii
* Park & Rec Agency of the Year: City of Irvine, Calif.
* High School Coach of the Year: Art Quinn, Greenwich Village, Colo.
* National Junior Tennis & Learning (NJTL) Organization of the Year: A’s & Aces, New Orleans, La.
* Innovative Tennis Event of the Year: Tennis Owners & Managers (TOM) Conference
* Youth Tennis Provider of the Year: Mark Platt, St. Louis, Mo.
* Adult Tennis Provider of the Year: Social Nets, Northern California
* Public Tennis Facility of the Year: USTA National Campus, Orlando, Fla.
* Professional Tennis Registry (PTR) Member of the Year: Larry Haugness, Springfield, Mo.
* U.S. Professional Tennis Association (USPTA) Member of the Year: Fernando Velasco, Austin Texas