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USTA Community Tennis Development Workshop Awards

February 25, 2008 09:10 AM

Master of Ceremonies Justin Gimelstob and USTA Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer Gordon Smith at the USTA CTDW Awards. (photo Bryan Haraway)

The annual United States Tennis Association, Community Tennis Development Workshop (CTDW) was held over the weekend (February 23) at the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada and several USTA program’s and individuals were recognized for their dedication to growing the game at an awards banquet.

Two USTA Florida volunteers received recognition at the CTDW: Rita Gladstone of Port Orange, Fla., was selected as the 2007 Janet Louer National Organizer of the Year and Nancy Horowitz of Pembroke Pines, Fla., was selected as a 2007 USTA Eve F. Kraft Community Service Award recipient.  Both were honored before more than 600 community tennis leaders at the annual event.


Janet Louer USTA Jr. Team Tennis Organizer of the Year Award:

The USTA honors an individual that positively influences children’s lives and substantially impacts his or her community.

The award is named after Janet Louer, an individual who was instrumental in the development of junior tennis during her lifetime.  As the administrator for USTA Jr. Team Tennis in Georgia, she built the state championships into the largest youth team tennis state championships in the nation.  Her expertise also was utilized in the development of the Section and National Championships for the program.  Louer died on May 2, 2006 after a lengthy battle with cancer.

The Janet Louer USTA Jr. Team Tennis Organizer of the Year honoree for 2007 is Rita Gladstone.  In 1977, Rita Gladstone began playing tennis in the sunshine state in what was then called Little Team Tennis.  Nearly thirty years later Rita has become a leader in the program. Since becoming area league commissioner of the Volusia County USTA Team Tennis League, enrollment has nearly tripled from 60 to 200 players. Under her leadership, the league secured a long-term sponsor and established a team tennis committee comprising both teaching pros and parents.

Additionally, in the fall of 2004, Rita started a Rallyball league at a public park in Port Orange that grew to include 90 players ranging in age from 6 to 12.  Tennis has always been a part of her life as her mother was a parent coach/volunteer when Rita first took to the courts.  Rita would go onto play tennis at the University of South Carolina (1984-1988) and achieved her best WTA ranking, 352 in 1989.  Gladstone’s husband, Andy is the Director of Competitive Tennis for USTA Florida.  During their 16 years of marriage they have passed their love of the game onto their two children Paul and Mira, who are both Jr. Team Tennis players.

> Watch Rita Gladstone Video

Eve Kraft Community Service Awards:

The USTA bestows the Eve Kraft Community Service Award upon individuals who perpetuate their selfless mission to bring the game of tennis to anyone who wants to play.  Eve F. Kraft was a tennis pioneer whose ability to touch people’s lives exceeded the boundaries of the tennis court.  As teacher, coach, author, USTA staff member and volunteer, Kraft was a lifelong champion of recreational tennis in the United States until her death in 1999.  She introduced thousands of young people to the game of tennis, particularly in disadvantaged communities.

Nancy Horowitz 
was recognized for her dedication to tennis in her community.  Nancy began in 1980 as a volunteer when she founded the Pembroke Pines Tennis Association, which served the city as a tennis advisory committee and spearheaded efforts to build four more tennis courts on the east side of town.  Her commitment landed her a full-time position as a Parks and Recreation Tennis Coordinator.  Now Horowitz’s responsibilities include staffing the city’s six public facilities, overseeing 12 tennis pros, purchasing equipment and more.  She coordinates more than 50 courts across the area which gives tennis opportunity to over 1,000 people of all ages.  She is also a recognized tennis official who has traveled to a number of events ranging from the Orange Bowl to the 1996 Olympics.  

> Watch Nancy Horowitz Video 







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