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Phil Girardi, USA Tennis Florida’s Unsung Hero

January 12, 2004 03:45 PM

Phil Girardi & Wife.jpg


Congratulations to Phil Girardi for being USA Tennis Florida’s Unsung Hero for the January/ February 2004 issue of USTA Magazine.  Phil appears on page 33 (see below) of the magazine.  Here is a little more detail about our unsung hero that loves to sing as well as play tennis:

Two years ago, while in Destin FL for a Community Tennis Workshop, this Unsung Hero showed everyone a little something about singing.  A group of staffers and volunteers were out one evening enjoying the Destin nightlife. The place they chose was packed.  According to one staff member, many of the group was out on the dance floor, kicking up their heels, enjoying the sounds of the evening, when suddenly the singing voice sounded familiar.  Phil knew the band members, and soon was playing keyboard and entertaining the Destin crowd!  That’s when USA Tennis Florida started learning about this District Director’s other talent.

Phil was introduced to tennis in intramural leagues at Eastbay High School in Riverside.  After graduating high school, he went to pharmacy school, but instead of finishing his degree, he decided to join a band and go on the road!  The “night job” gave Phil plenty of time to play tennis during the day.  After 8 successful years on the road, Phil’s tennis had improved quite a bit.  He headed back to St. Petersburg, took his PTR certification, and started as instructor at Treasure Bay Golf and Tennis, owned by the City of Treasure Island, where he currently is the Director of Tennis and Facility Director.

This unsung hero (who sings quite well) has truly provided a welcoming tennis environment at the Treasure Bay Golf and Tennis Club.  Jeff Davis, USA Tennis Florida, Community Coordinator for the area, describes this facility a prototype of a Tennis Welcome Center.  This is a community based setting where anyone at any level of play feels comfortable.   A new player at Treasure Bay is immediately involved in programs and enjoying the environment created by Phil.

He quietly takes in stride his responsibilities as our volunteer District 12 Director for almost 5 years.  He’s involved with the local CTA, Suncoast Tennis Foundation, busy planning meetings for the district, and organizing community tennis rallies.  His favorite volunteer job has been as a clinician at Girl Scout Sports Day at Wide World of Disney.

Loretta Strickland, former Director of Community Tennis for USA Tennis Florida, and now working for USTA NorCal, shared this story about Phil’s dedication to his community’s tennis.  Phil is a good friend of Loretta’s fiancé.  His first comment when he found out his friend was dating Loretta was, “Now that you are dating a community tennis staff member, you’d better not ‘mess up’ our community funding!”

Phil lives in St. Petersburg with his wife Vicki, and their two sons.  Ten-year-old Michael is a budding USA Team Tennis player, and five-year-old is hooked on the Cartoon Network Tennis Kids Program.  Congratulations, Phil!


Phil Girardi Jan_Feb 2004 USTA Magazine.jpg


 

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