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Southern Educational Merit Award Winner

December 18, 2002 03:16 PM

Yona Bar-Zeev
Wilmington, NC

Yona Bar-Zeev never picked up a racquet until his wife taught him how to play the game 13 years ago he didn’t start teaching the game until he became involved with the Greater Wilmington Tennis Association (GWTA) in 2000. Needless to say he is certainly making up for a ton of lost time! Currently the president of the GWTA, Yona generously donates his time to grow the game of tennis in the Wilmington area. He has worked very hard this past year to increase participation among local youth, specifically underprivileged kids. He has put a huge emphasis on the USA School Tennis program and has contacted local PE teachers at both public and private schools encouraging them to “learn how to teach tennis to their classes.” Yona has also led the push to introduce USA Team Tennis in Wilmington. In 2001 the city did not have any participants in the program. When the GWTA started the program Yona held a Community Rally where 150 kids participated in exciting tennis activities. He also solicited support from local teaching pros, the Wilmington Parks & Recreation Department, high school players and the UNC-Wilmington tennis teams. He continued the outreach by sending information to all local schools and PTA organizations. Through his efforts, the GWTA has attracted over 700 participants this past year. Yona’s innovation and dedication to the game makes him an invaluable asset to is community.

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