November Volunteer of the Month Awarded to Christina Hill

November 5, 2007 10:19 AM

Birthplace: Fort Wayne, Ind.
Family Members Include: Husband Mac, sons Ryan (25) Justin (22) and daughter Rebecca (19)
Favorite Movie: Rear Window, The Philadelphia Story & The Princess Bride
Favorite Food: Any kind of fruit
Favorite Travel Spot: The beach
Favorite Tennis Stroke/Shot: The overhead smash – it gets out all the stress!


Christina Hill of New Port Richey, Fla. is a wife, mother of three, tennis instructor, Jr. Team Tennis Area League Coordinator, Community Tennis Association (CTA) president, Pasco County representative and tennis advocate. She divides her time between her favorite things: family, friends and growing the game of tennis in Pasco County.  Christina exudes a special spark about her which rubs off on others once they meet her; she is always smiling, always advocating for better tennis facilities and programs and always encouraging others to give back to their communities.  USTA Florida is delighted to recognize Christina Hill, USTA life member, as November Volunteer of the Month.

Christina has been actively involved in USTA Jr. Team Tennis for years; first in Jacksonville where she taught for parks and recreation, and then at the Holiday Recreation Center, a county park, in New Port Richey after she moved there four years ago.  Since then, she has aided in the growth of USTA Florida Jr. Team Tennis in Region 3.  Two more facilities, including Gills Family YMCA and the newly renovated New Port Richey Recreation Center now offer USTA Jr. Team Tennis because of Christina’s encouraging efforts.

“Word of mouth is how the program has grown,” said Christina, who teaches Jr. Team Tennis at all three facilities.  She is thrilled that many area high school tennis players have stepped up and volunteered their time to help younger players in Jr. Team Tennis.  As a result of her altruistic coaching style, one of her senior students this year, Daniela Pontoriera from New Port Richey, received a $6,000 college scholarship from the USTA Tennis & Education Foundation

“My best times are with those kids,” said Christina.  “They just make me feel that what I am doing is worthwhile.”

On May 19, the newly formed Pasco County Tennis Foundation held its first event as a CTA.  Spearheaded by Christina, CTA president, the foundation partnered with the City of New Port Richey and hosted a USTA Tennis Block Party during the grand opening of the New Port Recreation Center.

“The event went great!” said Christina.  “A lot of volunteers came forward to help, and it was exciting to see the large number of people playing tennis.”

However; one problem associated with the facility was that the city spent $14 million on the new recreation center, yet none of that money went to revamp the tennis courts.  Nevertheless, Christina and a few other tennis advocates rallied support in the area, and finally got the city to allot $15,000 in their budget towards tennis court repairs at the center. After the holidays, the Pasco County Tennis Foundation is organizing a tournament to raise more money to help refurbish the tennis courts. 

In addition, the CTA is in the process of starting a National Jr. Tennis League (NJTL) with the Boys and Girls Club in New Port Richey with the support of community leaders.  Advantage Yours, the Sun Coast Tennis Foundation and parents have all donated racquets for the program.

“Tennis has always been a joy and passion in my life,” explained Christina.  “I enjoy teaching and sharing how much fun it is to play tennis.  Nothing beats the animated smile on a child's face when they hit the ball over the net for the first time; their excitement and enthusiasm motivates my desire to do more to develop and promote tennis for my community and for the wonderful people here!”

More fun facts about Christina:

My earliest tennis memory was… My father going up to the courts to play with us up in Indiana.  I was probably 7 or 8 years old.

If I could play tennis with three people, they would be… Chris Evert, Roger Federer and Andy Roddick.

When I am not playing tennis I am…Doing things with my family; going to art shows, playing games, cooking out.

People who have influenced me the most are… My husband Mac, Jim Ebener, and Jim & Theresa Graeser.  They all helped me believe in myself.

I like to volunteer in tennis because… It makes me feel good.  I love it when kids get excited about things they accomplish.  I get excited, and they get more excited, and then it just keeps building from there!

 

 

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