RSI Champions Names Four In South

January 4, 2013 05:53 PM
RSI Magazine names winners in 19 other categories for its 2012 Champions of Tennis Awards with four coming from USTA Southern.

Builder/Contractor of the Year

Baseline Sports Construction, Knoxville, Tenn.
In 1982, Empire Recreational Surfaces, a small construction company in Knoxville, Tenn., started resurfacing tennis courts. Company personnel quickly recognized the need for quality court construction from the ground up, and began perfecting the art of building and maintaining courts. They increased their reach into the industry, eventually renaming themselves Baseline Sports Construction and becoming a full-service recreational contracting company whose high-quality finished products included not just tennis courts, but running tracks, indoor sports facilities and synthetic turf fields.
As the company grew, its leadership became increasingly involved with the American Sports Builders Association. Company President Will Ferguson served on the board of directors and as the ASBA’s chairman. Its vice president, David Clapp, meanwhile, became both a Certified Tennis Court Builder and a Certified Track Builder, and most recently chaired the committee to rewrite the publication, (**ital)Tennis Courts: A Construction and Maintenance Manual(**reg).
Baseline primarily serves the private market, but is also involved in municipal facilities. The company, whose motto is "Bringing excellence to the surface," has been honored in the ASBA's awards program many times throughout the years. And now, it joins a distinguished list of honorees as RSI’s 2012 Builder/Contractor of the Year.
These days, the company serves the Southeastern region and is a licensed contractor in Tennessee and seven other states. And yet, to borrow a cliché, the more things change, the more they stay the same. The company's philosophy remains unchanged, according to Clapp: "Build quality projects, make customers happy, and be truthful in representing ourselves."

Community Tennis Association of the Year

Tri-County CTA, Jackson, Miss.
If you’re into tennis in the Jackson, Miss., area, you want to get involved with the Tri-County CTA, which serves Hinds, Madison and Rankin counties. Founded in 2006, Tri-County is dedicated to promoting, developing, growing and supporting tennis, and they’ve been—as USTA Community Tennis Development Coordinator Jon Thompson says—"a model CTA." And for 2012, Tri-County is RSI’s Community Tennis Association of the Year.
"Tri-County offers quality programming while growing the game at all levels," Thompson says. "Providing everything from 10 and Under Tennis to senior tennis, Tri-County has created an outstanding tennis community where everyone is welcome."
Tri-County manages leagues for all types of players, says Elizabeth Lyle, the CTA’s marketing coordinator. One key to growing tennis, she says, is making sure league captains feel "extra special. Sometimes we’ll have a wine and cheese gathering for them. When the captains happy and on board, tennis grows."
The CTA also works with community groups such as Big Brothers, Big Sisters, and with area schools. Plus, "We try to do a lot with area teaching pros," says Lyle, who herself is a USPTA pro. "There are a lot of private clubs and public facilities here, and we want to make sure our programs and events jibe with them. We even host a free luncheon twice a year to tell teaching pros what we have coming up, and to get their feedback."
CTA President Gary Nowell also praises the tennis volunteers in the Jackson area. "A lot of our activity and growth comes from people giving back to the community and supporting tennis."

PTR Member of the Year

Roy Barth, Charleston, S.C.
Roy Barth’s tennis resume features extensive experience and accomplishments as a player, teacher and administrator. A former top 50 pro and founding member of the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), Barth is in his 37th year as tennis director at Kiawah Island Golf Resort in South Carolina.
Barth attended his first PTR International Symposium on Hilton Head Island, S.C. in 1984, when he and partner Jorge Andrew began a 13-year undefeated run in the men’s 35s and 45s doubles. "Playing got me to the Symposium," says Barth, who was named PTR Pro of the Year in 1990 and a PTR Master Pro in 2007, "but networking got me involved."
Networking opportunities led to his roles as president of USTA South Carolina and the Southern Tennis Patrons Foundation, and as current chairman of the USTA Davis Cup Committee. In fact, Barth has dedicated his distinguished career to improving the sport for all of its constituents. For his tireless efforts, he is RSI’s 2012 PTR Member of the Year.
Barth says he learns something new each year from the tennis teachers and coaches at the PTR Symposium from more than 50 countries. He has served as treasurer of the PTR board and helped to develop the inaugural PTR Directors of Tennis Conference, which took place this past October.
PTR Executive Director Dan Santorum credits Barth’s longevity with his dual strengths administratively and on court, where Barth advocates for resort pros to enhance stroke fundamentals rather than a particular style that contradicts a player’s regular pro back home. "Roy is an asset to the PTR board and our industry," Santorum says. "He’s the best in the business."

Tennis Advocate of Year

Dr. Nancy McGinley, Charleston, S.C.
Recently, Charleston County (S.C.) Public Schools Superintendent Nancy McGinley was visiting one of the district’s schools and the principal proudly showed her the big, new trophy case. "It had one trophy in it," McGinley says. "The whole school was so excited because their kids had excelled in tennis. That’s what’s exciting to me—to see the joy that playing tennis is bringing to kids."
A former player for Temple University, McGinley is an avid league player and is the driving force behind why so many kids of all ages are now playing, and loving, tennis in Charleston. And for 2012, she is RSI’s Tennis Advocate of the Year.
"Dr. McGinley has been an amazing partner," says Barry Ford, the USTA’s director of Public Affairs and Advocacy. "Her passion for the sport and her leadership has galvanized the community around the goal of providing access and opportunity so every kid in Charleston County Public Schools can learn and grow through tennis."
The district has 45,000 students and 80 schools. Under McGinley’s leadership, CCPS and the USTA began a collaboration in 2010 that has led to the creation of after-school tennis opportunities at 25 of the neediest public schools in the county; the development of a play pathway from after-school Kids’ Clubs to school- and community-supported team tennis opportunities; and the creation of 32 kid-sized courts.
"For me, it’s not just about tennis being physical fitness and a game that teaches rules and sportsmanship and discipline," McGinley says. "It’s also about social access and opportunity. My goal is to introduce tennis to all students at a young age so they can grow up feeling very comfortable playing and networking and getting to know people."