St.Pete/Clearwater Captains’ Appreciation Party

July 3, 2007 08:52 AM

> Click here to watch "Fletch takes to the court" video

Local League Coordinators (LLCs), led by Ruth Ann Ott and Carol Levin, invited captains and co-captains from adult, senior, super senior, super 70’s, senior and adult mixed doubles, and men’s and women’s combo leagues to participate in a recreational tennis competition and enjoy a Captain/Co-Captain Recognition Party at the Renaissance Vinoy Resort in St. Petersburg Saturday afternoon, June 30.  Coordinators Linda Meehan, Norm Ott, Clark Higgs and David Wisotsky, as well as USTA Florida and the Suncoast Tennis Foundation (STF), a St.Pete/Clearwater volunteer-based community tennis association, assisted in contacting invitees and organizing the event .




The format was team tennis using a six game no-ad pro set. Players were grouped into 8 teams of varying NTRP levels directed by Vinoy tennis director Hans Gallauer. There was an 8.5, 7.5 and a 6.5 court and team players were identified by a nametag with their name and rating written in the color of their team. LLC’s plus a few volunteers captained the teams and organized the individual team combinations; gender was not a factor, only combined ratings.

Dick Fletcher, chief meteorologist from Channel 10 Tampa Bay News was invited to play and magically kept the rains away.  Megan Bradley, who once played the pro circuit and is now interning for Channel 10 Sports, interviewed several people at the event, which was later featured on Channel 10 Tampa Bay News!  St. Petersburg Times local reporter Nancy Morgan also attended.



Following the friendly competition, a light dinner was set-up indoors catered by the Vinoy. All team players were recognized with an award, and blue bottle holders with the USTA logo were provided to all participants. 

Twenty eight donations by area clubs were raffled off, including a grand prize for a night’s stay at the Renaissance Vinoy and a Wislon tennis racquet, donated by Bob Pfaender, territory manager for Wilson Racquet Sports in Florida.  Bob, who was unable to attend, also sent a bag of Wilson demo racquets for the entire group to test.  Judy Foster, Executive Director of the STF, donated her time to assist and was the eventual winner of the Wilson racquet while Rick Workman, tennis director at East Lake Woodlands Country Club near Clearwater, won the grand prize stay at the Renaissance Vinoy Resort.

Weeks before the Captain/Co-Captain Recognition Party, organizers received the names of Captains or teams that were deserving of recognition for going the extra mile. Several teams and Captains were acknowledged throughout the day; however, one team was specifically honored by the party committee who has demonstrated extraordinary teamwork, played USTA tennis for many years and are respected by all their opponents for their camaraderie and genuine sportsmanship.

Participants left the afternoon chock-full of tennis, fun and feeling great about being appreciated for their hard work in USTA League Tennis.  Made possible by USTA Florida, the Captains’ appreciation was enthusiastically expressed as they departed from the event and thank you notes are already pouring in. 

To Ruth Ann and everyone else involved,
- Thanks for another great team captains' party!
- Well organized, fun, involving, affirming of captains role.
- Great prizes and gifts.
- Good food and drinks.
- Free parking.
- Chance to meet new tennis people.
- Lots of time and coordination obviously took place.
- Wonderful location and hosting from Hans and Vinoy staff.
- Thank you, all!
Wendall Walker

Jeff Davis, USTA Florida Community Coordinator for Region 3 added, "I want to applaud all involved with the USTA St. Pete/Clearwater Area Captain’s Appreciation event.  Great job by our LLCs, Hans Gallauer and the Renaissance Vinoy Resort staff.  It is very important for us to recognize our USTA League Captains in this manner, and with the day's attendance right at 100, it appears they appreciate the recognition as well!"