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Southern Professional of the Year Award Winner

December 18, 2002 03:58 PM

Richard Verzaal
Shreveport, LA

Since coming to the Querbes Tennis Center in Shreveport in October 2000, Richard has enthusiastically and successfully promoted tennis via the USTA’s programs. In doing so, player participation at the tennis center has grown an astonishing 250%. This past spring Richard captained six of the 13 adult USA League Tennis teams playing out of the Querbes Tennis Center, making it to the National Championships in the 4.5 division. He also ran beginner leagues at no cost to help increase interest and player participation. To assist other teams going to USA League Tennis National championship events, Richard organized fundraisers to help defer some of the travel cost. He participated in 14 school assemblies in 2002, successfully connecting seven of them. He did 20 hours of free youth clinics, with over 350 participants, and was the primary participant in the “Safe Halloween” program in conjunction with the Shreveport Parks & Recreation department that introduced over 3,000 children to the sport. Richard directed the Elementary and Middle School Team Tennis season and tournament that hosted over 250 children over a 12-week period. Finally, Richard almost single-handedly introduced the NJTL program to the Shreveport area. He completed the paperwork and organized the programming. Through his efforts over 40 youth were introduced to the sport. Richard’s dedication to the Shreveport community and his love of the sport is evidenced in all that he has done to grow the game in his area. He is instrumental to the growth of tennis Shreveport.

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