2007 Award - Educational Merit Award

Educational Merit Award
Recognizes an individual or group who has developed an outstanding tennis program, which provides leadership and inspiration in junior programs for schools, colleges, parks and playgrounds and benefits the growth of tennis in the USTA Southern Section.

Elana Engleman
Bossier City, LA
When Elana Engleman arrived in Bossier City, LA, she had a new idea for bringing tennis to the masses. The lack of tennis programming in the area led Elana to offer free tennis lessons and reach out to school systems in an effort to incorporate tennis programming into PE curriculum. Engleman took portable nets, foam balls, cones and racquets to tennis assemblies across the parish. Engleman went so far as to take over PE classes for the day at 13 area schools in order to introduce students to the game.

With a heart geared toward her community, Elana was instrumental in the opening of a new 12 court facility in North Bossier. Prior to the completion of the facility, there was no publicly accessible, tournament-quality tennis court in the city. Now that the facility is complete, more tennis matches are being played at the North Bossier Park Tennis Center than almost anywhere else in the region. The tennis center features 12 lighted courts, two sets of bleachers with the capacity to add more, covered patios between court bays, a terraced viewing lawn, pro shop and snack bar.

With nearly 25 years of service as a tennis pro, Engleman has served in every capacity from an NJTL coordinator to a high school coach. She has piloted junior programs in various states, taught tennis at a resort in the Mediterranean and coached collegiate teams at Wabash College in Indiana. She has taken her passion for grassroots tennis across the globe and the citizens of Bossier City are reaping the benefits of her commitment to the game.

Other nominees:

Dolores Cox, AR; Linda McCollum, GA; Charles Kennedy, NC.