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Miami's Teter Named Aug. 2013 USTA Florida Tennis Volunteer of the Month

August 28, 2013 04:58 PM
Teter_SandyUSTA Florida and the Miami tennis community is missing a dedicated and beloved tennis volunteer after Sandy Teter lost a two-month battle with cancer in July.
 
"As I sit here and send out my e-mails to the captains in preparation for our 2014 Early Start league, it is surreal not to be chatting with Sandy about how many 'millions' of teams she was going to be captaining this season. Last season, it was seven," said Donna Kass, USTA Florida local league coordinator in the Miami area. "She was always a great supporter of the game and wanted to include anyone who wanted to play. She consistently fought for her girls and attended every 2.5 [beginner level] match, even though she was a 3.0 and not on the team. If one her 2.5 teams won the local league, she accompanied them to the Daytona league sectionals in her matching hat, sneakers and iPhone case, ready to help. She taught these girls the rules and how to love the game."
 
For 11 years from 2002-12, Teter captained anywhere from 1 up to 10 teams per year -- a total of 53 teams during that period. She also served as a board member for the South Florida Women's Doubles Tennis League, initiated and maintained e-mail contacts and campaigns, and personal contacts throughout the Miami tennis community to rally players each season.
 
"Sandy had so much love and enthusiasm for tennis and in bringing the beginning-level women into our USTA Leagues," said USTA Florida Tennis Program Coordinator Cathy Nordlund. "Not only did I enjoyed seeing her love of tennis but also seeing her in the colorful tennis outfits she was known to wear. Sandy Teter will be forever in our hearts and greatly missed."
 
Teter didn't come to tennis until after retiring from 33 years teaching physical education. She then learned to play for the first time in her life, and tennis came to fill her retirement years, playing USTA women's leagues and pouring her energy into recruiting and encouraging women players of all ages and abilities.
 
In a profile by USTA Florida regional columnist Cary Bayer profiling Teter earlier this year, he wrote, "One day, before going to the [USTA League] sectional championships in Daytona Beach, her live-in boyfriend of 12 years asked her what was more important to her: tennis or him. "You don't want to ask me that question now," she said -- and he hasn't since. "Let's just say that he gives me a lot of freedom, and he likes to cook," she says."
 
Kass added, "I once asked if she stood on street corners to find new players, as each season the number of teams she captained multiplied. Years ago, she created a Saturday round robin for new players to come out and hit around and was always the first person to respond to my 'Player looking for information' e-mails. We now have eight 2.5 teams eager to play, and I give her enthusiasm the credit for the popularity of the level. Many of her players have moved on up to 3.5, but all speak fondly of their 'Sandy years.'"
 
Teter said playing was fun, but turning on players to the game was her real passion.
 
"Although I truly love playing tennis," Teter said, "I am more interested in making tennis more fun for as many players as possible."
 
Miami's Mary Feldman was one such player.
 
"Eleanor Roosevelt once said, 'A woman is like a tea bag -- you don't know her strength until you put her in hot water," said Feldman, who was among many players submitting their fondest memories of Teter. "Sandy set the perfect example of tennis etiquette, which I think is slowly deteriorating, and provided a true definition of the word 'graceful,' even in the midst of boiling tempers.
 
"Aside from that, because of Sandy I went back to tennis after 20 years of motherhood when Sandy convinced me to join a team. She said, 'You'll have fun, Maria, as long as you don't take it too seriously.' She was right. And to this day I'm glad she coaxed me."
 
USTA Florida honors Miami's Sandy Teter as the August 2013 Volunteer of the Month for coaxing players back into the game, and her years of growing and making USTA League tennis a meaningful part of so many players' lives.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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