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February Volunteer of the Month – Talented T.A.

January 29, 2008 08:34 AM

Birthplace: Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago
Family Members Include: M.J. Noone (life partner) and Connor Zerilla (son)
Favorite Movie:  Powder
Favorite Food:  Callalloo

Favorite Travel Spot:  Sedona, AZ
Favorite Tennis Stroke/Shot:  Backhand

USTA Florida’s February Volunteer of the Month, T.A. Niles of Ft. Myers, certainly has an accomplished background and commendable talents.  To list a few, T.A. is a feature writer, photographer, school tennis clinician, past USTA Florida Jr. Team Tennis coordinator, USPTA pro, former college instructor, collegiate tennis player and Hall of Famer at the University of Hartford, USTA Florida volunteer, league player, top-ten player in the USTA Florida Men’s 45s, and most importantly, an all around tennis enthusiast. 

Thankfully, T.A. has re-entered USTA Florida’s life after laying low for far too long.

After working for the USTA Florida Section as a USTA Florida Jr. Team Tennis coordinator in the early 90’s, T.A. left to pursue other passions in life.  However; early last year, T.A. graced the Florida Section with his presence once again, with an “I am here to help” attitude.  In recent months, T.A. has become a very valuable volunteer for Region 7.  He is the feature writer for tennis at tennisracquetsport.suite101.com, and does contracted tennis writings and photos for many organizations, including the Lee County Community Tennis Association, USTA Florida and First Serve.  He has also created entertaining slideshows to accompany his articles; of late, T.A. was commended for his slideshows on USTA Florida’s Annual Meeting in Amelia Island.  And last year, you may have read T.A.’s article about the 81st National Public Parks Tennis Championships in the September issue of Florida Tennis.

T.A. continually plays an active part in the USTA Florida School Tennis Program in Lee County, and recently became a USTA Florida Clinician to help deliver trainings to after-school providers in all of Region 7. 

“There is no better game to play and it has contributed so much to my life that I am willing to do just about anything I can do to help it contribute to the lives of others,” said T.A.

USTA Florida appreciates everything T.A. does to give back to the great sport of tennis; if we had it our way, we would clone him 1,000 times over!

More about T.A.:

My earliest tennis memory was…Watching Rod Laver and Ken Rosewall play on TV. My favorite early playing experience was my introduction to tennis in Phil Gordon's inner-city program. We learned to play on the slick floors of school gyms in Hartford, CT.

If I could play tennis with three people, they would be…Monica Seles, Roger Federer and Larry Turville.

When I am not playing tennis I am…Doing far too many things to list here, but spending time with M.J., my life partner, playing golf, teaching tennis, and writing.

Best ever tennis memory…Winning the Open Division of the New England Tennis Associations Championship after several tries, and ending up in the hospital after also making it to the finals in mixed and men's doubles. Nine hours of tennis on a hot Labor Day weekend was too much even 20 years ago!

 

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