2016 Mid-Atlantic Award Winners

Gain Inspiration from These Six Award Winners

USTA Mid-Atlantic (USTA MAS) was pleased to announce the winners of the 2016 Impact, Inclusion and Innovation awards for the Section at this year’s Conference and Awards ceremony on November 12, 2016. This is the second year USTA MAS has awarded trophies to deserving individuals and organizations who are working hard to promote and develop the growth of tennis in the community.

This year’s award winners are a diverse group that has a commonality – a passion for getting more people of all ages playing tennis. From an organization that has gone above and beyond to encourage diverse populations to play tennis to an individual using the latest social media technology to get more people out on the courts, these six winners are ones to watch in the Section. They are also great role models for others who also want to make a difference in the tennis community.

 Instead of just telling you about them, take a look at the following videos to learn about each award winner and what makes their work so special.

2016 Inclusion Award (individual), Ann Tierney of Chesterfield, VA.

2016 Inclusion Award (organization), The Multicultural Children’s Tennis Association of Columbia, MD.

 2016 Innovation Award (individual), Pedro Graber of Arlington, VA.

 2016 Innovation Award (organization), the District of Columbia Interscholastic Athletic Association of Washington, DC.

 2016 Impact Award (individual), Jennifer Toomy of Norfolk, VA.

2016 Impact Award (organization), Montgomery TennisPlex, Boyds, MD.

Please join us in congratulating these award winners on their tremendous accomplishments in 2016.

We hope these stories are an inspiration to do more in your community to grow tennis, embrace inclusion and try new things to spark interest in the sport. You can also get involved by supporting USTA Mid-Atlantic in our efforts to reach underserved populations and enable more people – especially children – to play tennis and learn the sport of lifetime. You can simply text ACE to 80077 to make a $10 donation to USTA Mid-Atlantic to help our tennis enrichment scholarship fund.*

What do you find inspirational about the 2016 USTA MAS award winners? In what ways can you do more to promote and develop the growth of tennis in your community? Share your thoughts with us on social media and join the conversation.

Editor’s note: All award winner videos were produced in partnership with G-Fitz Productions.

*$10 donation to USTA Mid-Atlantic. Charges will appear on your wireless bill, or be deducted from your prepaid balance. All purchases must be authorized by account holder. Must be 18 years of age or have parental permission to participate. Msg&Data Rates May Apply. Text STOP to 80077 to STOP. Text HELP to 80077 for HELP. Full Terms: mGive.org/T Privacy Policy: mGive.org/P


Lauren Hoffmann, is the director of marketing, communications and membership for USTA Mid-Atlantic.

USTA Mid Atlantic Award Crystal

The Three “I”s in Tennis

How do you spell tennis?

T-E-N-N-I-S. Absolutely correct!

How many of you might say there are three “i”s in tennis? Probably not many, but I am here to tell you there are.

As the Executive Director for USTA Mid-Atlantic I am moved by the passion people find in tennis. I visit the tennis courts in our Section and attend events, and as I look around I see people of every age, size, color and type playing their hearts out and having fun. Tennis truly embodies what it means to be life-long – something you can play as a child, teen, young adult and into your golden years. And oh by the way, you can get started at any age too!

Our goal, our mission is to get more people to experience what tennis is all about; play, have fun and feel the passion and benefits that result. Specifically it is to promote and develop the growth of tennis and we couldn’t be more proud to do that. In my role, I am always looking for ways we can get more people to find themselves in the game. I look strategically at what we are doing as a Section to achieve this and to keep us focused, we created a three-year plan that is aimed at serving the mission and actively tracking our goals.

Interestingly, as a result of creating the strategic plan, we saw the three “i”s: inclusion, innovation, and impact bubble up to the surface.

Inclusion – tennis is a game for any and every one. And our work strives to embrace that across all program areas of focus. We are working to create an inclusive and diverse tennis community through programs and services that attract all people to the game. Not only that, we hope to inspire the entire Mid-Atlantic tennis community to embrace and support an environment of inclusion.

Innovation – no longer can you just keep doing the same things and expect the same results. Innovation and disruption to the norms are essential for keeping tennis viable. Every day we push ourselves to try new things and get creative to reach our goals. This mentality has brought forth some of our most interesting (and fun) opportunities and programs to attract more people to tennis. Check out our Yo Pro program and youth progression for starters. We are striving for innovation when it comes to growing tennis and in how we provide the game itself.

Impact – above all we want to make a difference in a measurable way. We want to have positive outcomes on individuals, young and old, on communities and on tennis in the Mid-Atlantic. We are all about hard-hitting measurable results that show improved quality and increase in participation.

These three words are referenced and inferred throughout the strategic plan and when we took a step back, they stood out prominently.

While the three “i”s make a lot of sense to us here at the Section office, we know we aren’t alone embracing these principles.  We know that so many of you in our tennis community are living the three “i”s every day. In fact, in 2015 we wanted to honor the work of individuals and organizations going above and beyond to grow tennis and modeled our 2015 Section Awards in three new categories.

The Inclusion Award for advancing the commitment to tennis in every community recognizes those that went above and beyond to make our sport welcoming. The Innovation Award for embracing change as a strategy to grow tennis recognizes those that are proactive in trying new and different ideas and who attracted or retained players by introducing unique offerings. And the Impact Award for hard-hitting influence on the growth of tennis to those that grew tennis across the board and used tennis to make a positive difference in the community.

We had an impressive inaugural class of award winners – you can check out these videos to hear their inspiring stories.

In 2016, we continued with the three “i”s for the 2016 Section Awards. We received strong nominations and are excited to announce this year’s winners and tell their stories during the 2016 Conference & Awards on Saturday, November 12 at the Bethesda Marriott. I hope you can join us to learn about the 2016 award winners and get a sense of the three “i”s for yourself.

Tennis is the greatest sport around and when we put the three “i”s in tennis we’ll be well on our way to reaching our goals and having more and more people benefit from our great game.

Now that you know about the three “i”s, in what ways can you embrace them both on and off the court? I challenge you to think about that and share your stories with us through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat (ustamas).  Or contact us through the blog and let us know what you think.


Tara Fitzpatrick-Navarro, is the executive director for USTA Mid-Atlantic.

Tennis on Point. Uniquely Mid-Atlantic.

Welcome!

You know, USTA Mid-Atlantic is the go-to source for tennis in Maryland, Virginia, Washington, DC and eastern and southern West Virginia. Not only do we have our finger on the pulse of opportunities for you and your family or friends to find yourself in the game, we come across a lot of great stories, resources and good information that may make your life – especially your tennis life – a little bit easier.  We have a passion for tennis, the absolute greatest game in our opinion, and that’s why we are excited to bring this new resource to you.

Tennis on Point is a place where tennis in the Mid-Atlantic can have its own voice. This is a destination where stories can be shared from and about our unique tennis community, where you can learn something new and maybe even a have laugh or two. It is a place where we want you to get a variety of points of view from the Section – and beyond – that you aren’t able to get anywhere else.

So what can you expect when you visit Tennis on Point?

  • Community – Hit the community section of Tennis on Point to get the latest news and stories of our great Mid-Atlantic Tennis community. Maybe you’ll read an uplifting profile of an outstanding USTA League Captain or find out about an upcoming event you can’t miss. Get inspired through a guest article from members and players like you, to experts and thought leaders.
  • Fun and Lifestyle – Bounce on over to this section for some fun. That’s what tennis is all about, right!? You might find yourself reading about the latest tennis fashion trends we spotted at the US Open or learning about cutting edge technologies improving the game.
  • Impact – Serve yourself some knowledge when you read up on the impact of tennis. Tennis offers endless benefits. This section will explore all the good that comes thanks to this sport. We’ll spotlight the impact that tennis has and celebrate the innovation and inclusion so many of us strive for every day.
  • Tips and Tricks – Rally around the tips and tricks section for pointers, resources and information to up your game or help others do their best on and off the court. This section may feature tips for coaching, ways to start playing tennis or help someone get going, creative ways to play and tricks that can be part of your on-court strategy.

We hope that Tennis on Point is a place where you can learn more about and get to know your fellow tennis players from the Mid-Atlantic as well as all of us here at the Section office. By the way, we don’t want this to be a place where you just come and read – we invite you to participate in making this a vibrant representation of USTA Mid-Atlantic. If you have a great idea for a story, a smart tip or have an article you can contribute, please let us know.

We welcome comments and thoughts about the articles and you will likely find that we will ask you to share your insights through social media on Facebook and Twitter (follow us if you don’t already). One last thing, sign up for an email alert so you never miss a new article! We’ll do our best to bring something fresh and new to you at least once a week.

The Mid-Atlantic has a vibrant tennis community and we want to celebrate that with the stories and articles you’ll find right here at Tennis on Point.


Lauren Hoffmann, is the director of marketing, communications and membership for USTA Mid-Atlantic. She’s a beginner at tennis and is most definitely going to be glued to the articles in the Tips and Tricks section!

Happy Hallow-Tweener!

Doubles, Doubles, Toil and Trouble!

Halloween is right around the corner, and we bet you’re thinking the same thing as us: I haven’t prepared a costume yet! Don’t fret. In an effort to help you better prepare for this Halloween season, we have prepared a list of possible tennis related costumes for you tennis-lovers out there.

  1. Go classic. What a better way to announce to the world that you love tennis than to dress as a giant tennis ball? They say you’re supposed to “Be the Ball” when you play, and what better opportunity to do just that than Halloween! Pro Tip: do not try to papier-mâché this while you are wearing the costume – only bad things will happen.

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Not a fan of papier-mâché; papier-mâché not a fan of you? Lucky for you there are options to purchase already made tennis ball costumes. If you’re even luckier, maybe you’ll be as cute as this little member of Net Generation here.

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  1. Overachieve, just this once. Feeling like all these other tennis costumes are too run-of-the-mill? Why not try going as something coveted by USTA league players around the US – a tennis trophy. All you need is a spot on pose and a lot of gold paint to make it happen. Bonus: have your partner go as a golf trophy – that’s a winning pair if we’ve ever seen one!

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  1. Throw it back like Hollywood. The talk of the tennis world this fall was the Battle of the Sexes movie, and if Emma Stone and Steve Carell can pull it off, so can you. Break out your best 70s tennis gear – bonus points for a Sugar Daddy jacket or a pet pig – and wooden racquet to create the most topical tennis costume of the year.
  1. Pop-tennis. Remember when Cher played tennis? Remember when Drake kept referencing tennis in his songs? So many tennis, pop-culture references, so little holiday!

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  1. Go classic Halloween. Nothing says “I love tennis, but it is Halloween” like a good ole gory, zombie tennis costume.

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At the end of it all, we are sure you will look great no matter how you dress this Halloween – as long as you are dressed with a tennis theme.


Helen Li, is the diversity manager for USTA Mid-Atlantic. In her spare time, Helen is teaching her dogs to fetch by bribing them with cheese.