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Floridians Honored by Tennis Hall of Fame; More

March 19, 2014 12:57 PM
Florida's Bill Norris, Anne Davis Honored by Tennis Hall of Fame
Left to right: Dr. Todd Ellenbecker, Bill Norris, Jon Vegosen, Dave Haggerty, Anne Davis, and Kirk Anderson (all photos by Susan Mullane / camerawork usa)

Tennis trainer Bill Norris of Boca Raton and community tennis organizer Anne Davis of Tallahassee were honored when the International Tennis Hall of Fame presented the 2013 Samuel Hardy and Tennis Educational Merit Awards on Saturday, March 15, 2014.

The awards were given during the International Tennis Hall of Fame Annual Awards Luncheon, which was held in conjunction with the United States Tennis Association's (USTA) Annual Meeting in Carlsbad, Calif. Hall of Fame President Stan Smith presented the awards, which are given annually to recognize great volunteers and leaders in the sport of tennis.

Jon Vegosen, of Chicago, a past chairman of the board and president of the USTA, received the prestigious Samuel Hardy Award. The Tennis Educational Merit Awards were presented to Davis, who has been active in community tennis and currently serves as USTA Manager of Play Days, and Norris, who has served tennis in the areas of athletic training and sports medicine since the early 1970s.

"As an industry, we are only able to grow tennis with the vision and hard work of dedicated leaders and volunteers," said Stan Smith, president of the International Tennis Hall of Fame. "Very much in the spirit of Samuel Hardy, Jon Vegosen has donated countless hours toward the growth of the sport through his leadership within the USTA and his commitment to creating access to tennis for everyone. Bill Norris' work in sports medicine and rehabilitation has proved vital to improving and extending careers for so many athletes. Of course, Anne Davis' work as a coach and her commitment to developing community access to tennis is exactly what helps grow the sport every day. The International Tennis Hall of Fame is proud to honor the work of these three remarkable individuals, with gratitude for all that they have done for tennis."
The Samuel Hardy Award was established in 1953 in memory of Samuel Hardy, who served on various USTA committees throughout his lifetime. The award was established to honor USTA volunteers who exemplify Hardy's dedication and loyalty to the sport of tennis.

Norris after serving his country as a hospital corpsman in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve became the youngest athletic trainer/therapist ever hired for any major league franchise. Norris was named head athletic trainer/therapist for the New York Knicks in August 1963 at the age of 21. He had started 1963 with the New York Mets as an athletic trainer/therapist after his graduation. Norris went on to work in both professional baseball and basketball until he left those sports teams to administer to the men's professional tennis tour in 1973. A pioneer in athletic training and sports medicine, Norris developed many principals and protocols of conditioning, preventative care, rehabilitation, and recovery that are standards in sports medicine today.

Davis has worked for the USTA since 2005 and is currently the USTA national manger, play days. Her primary focus is on play days and local play at the USTA section level with the goal of providing more meaningful play opportunities and increase participation. Before joining the USTA, Davis was a teaching pro who worked for a parks and recreation agency, served as a director of tennis at a private club, and was the owner of the Home Court Advantage Tennis Education Company. Davis has always been an active volunteer with the USTA Florida Section serving as a local community tennis association president, chair of the USA Florida Section Community Tennis Council, and as a Florida regional director.

To read the full bios and press release go to www.tennisfame.com.

Palm Beaches USTA Florida Kids 10-Under Team Tennis Challenge Sign-up for June

JTT-Sun-2A USTA Florida Team Tennis Challenge for 10-under players, presented by Wilson Racquet Sports, will be hosted by the Palm Beach Gardens Tennis Center in Palm Beach Gardens on June 14-15, 2014.

The one-day tournament will host gender-blind teams of no more than six players per team. Players must be age 10 or under to compete, with "orange ball" and "red ball" divisions.

The USTA Youth Tennis format allows smaller children to emulate adult play on smaller court sizes, with racquet sizes that fit their hands, low-compression low-bouncing balls, a simple scoring system, all adjusted to ease kids into the sport. Similar mini-tennis formats have long been popular in Europe, where stars such as Roger Federer and Kim Clijsters first learned the game with age-adjusted racquets, balls and court sizes.

These "BYOT" (bring your own team) events do not require previous team tennis league participation. Both USTA members and non-members can participate, with USTA members receiving a $10 discount on registration. Team registration closes on June 9, 2014. To register go to www.ustaflorida.com/teamtennischallenges.

"We have seen consistent demand across Florida for more open, recreational formats of play," said USTA Florida Associate Executive Director Andy McFarland. "The new USTA Florida Team Tennis Challenges offer fewer restrictions, allowing more teams to participate."

USTA Florida strongly encourages coaches to register teams early.

"The partnership with USTA Florida Team Tennis Challenges is a great fit for Wilson Racquet Sports and our shared vision to attract more youth participation," said Erika Offerdahl, promotions manager for Wilson Racquet Sports. Coaches and players can also connect with USTA Florida via Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #BYOTeamTennis.

The Palm Beach Gardens Tennis Center is located at 5110 117th Ct. N., Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., 33418.

For more information or to register go to www.ustaflorida.com/teamtennischallenges.





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