Community tennis events are really fun to organize and put together, but it takes a good committee of people and volunteers coming together cohesively to do it in a manner that truly makes it all feel pretty darn good and that happened this past Sunday for our 5th Annual PATA Tennis Park of Tennis Fame Clinic and Induction day.
It doesn’t happen but about once a year where all the tennis professionals in the area get together and donate their time to fill 6 tennis courts with 2 pro’s on a court coaching special themes for about 3 hours.
Fay Matsumoto and Jan Hasse with groundstrokes, Tim McClintock – serves and approaches, Sterling Fetty and Dick McGaw doing volley’s and net skills, Jason Jamison showing the troops how low compression ball drills can improve your game, Andrea Myers and Nick Cristea going over singles strategy, Bernie Adam roaming court to court and your’s truly tagging into the finer points of doubles.
Every twenty five minutes the 26 participants broken into groups of 4 to 5 players within their ability level rotating from court to court and at the end a great lunch, eating under the tennis patio with a question and answer period with these same tennis professionals having a great time.
But let’s back-track a bit.
This project does quite a few neat things. It gets all the pro’s together as well as the participants and volunteers creating a bond that makes not only tennis stronger in the area, but the aspect of community as well.
It raises money for a great cause through the Prescott Area Tennis Association in promoting the game of tennis with juniors, adults and seniors, helping with public facilities in the area, after school programs, scholarships, etc.,which is a real bonus for those who reap and enjoy the benefits this game has to offer.
What is really nice are the volunteers who recognize the work, time, effort and money is for a worthy cause. They do this because they care – and most have had the pleasures tennis has given them, thus they give back.
I can’t say enough good things about Nancy Seaman, Jo Conn, Dee Navarro, Adriana Howard, Mary Cobey, Christine Bothell, Stephanie Wirick, Robin Fox, Fay Matsumoto and the rest of the PATA board and volunteer group.
It takes a “village”, we have that currently and it’s only gotten better and better ever since the Yavapai Tennis Association was organized in the 1970’s.
We had two inductions this year to recognize, locally “Eric Bourdon” and nationally “Dr. Allen Fox.”
Bernie Adam did the presentation for Eric who passed away on August 30th of this year.
Eric became one of the top players and well liked people at the Prescott Racquet Club, was a great promoter of the game on all levels there, captained many, many USTA League teams to sectional and even national prominence, and went on to become the USTA league coordinator and liaison for Northern, AZ. His induction brick reads, “Everyone should play tennis!”
Nationally, Dr. Allen Fox was also inducted. Allen has done it all in the world of tennis. Player, coach, psychologist, businessman, author, public speaker and more…all over the U.S. and world.
He played tennis at UCLA, winning both the singles and doubles NCAA titles – while getting his B.A. in physics and later on his Ph.D. in psychology. This All-American won many national tennis titles ranked in the top10 in the U.S. 5 times. He went into investment banking, started and owned a couple multi-million dollar businesses, coached tennis at Pepperdine for 17 years (reached the NCAA finals twice), has written 4 best selling tennis books, editor/columnist for TENNIS and still actively works with professionals on the tour.
This “World Respected” (as his brick reads) man (and his wife Nancy) love our “Hometown” of Prescott and he’s given a couple talks here in the past few years.
Once again, a big thanks to all and we look forward to 2020’s event.
All past years Park of Fame events can be seen HERE.
Chris Howard is a local USPTA Tennis Professional with over 50 years in the racquet and fitness industry. He can be reached at 928-642-6775 or firstname.lastname@example.org.