Tennis pro Susman receives Star Award

The United States Professional Tennis Association recently awarded Carmel Valley resident Shelley Susman their Star Award for her advancements in grassroots tennis in the United Kingdom.

The USPTA, one of the world’s largest and oldest associations of tennis teaching professionals, held a ceremony on Sept. 24 in San Marco Island, Fla., to honor Susman and other award winners. The Star Award specifically honors pros that make a difference in their communities through the sport of tennis.

“It was quite a shock actually,” said Susman. “It was really neat to be nominated and the more tennis professionals to win that award the better.”

Susman, who is a San Diego native, moved to Carmel Valley from England in February with her two children.

Tennis has always been a part of Susman’s life. She was the daughter of two tennis pros, Rod and Karen. Her mother Karen Hantze won four Wimbeldon titles, one singles in 1962 and three in doubles with Billie Jean King. Her last Grand Slam title was in 1980, when she won the U.S. Open.

Susman said she wasn’t pushed into the sport at all — it just came naturally to her. She played for San Diego State and had success on one of the nation’s top teams. She took a break after college but got back into the sports as she began teaching.

She now teaches lessons at San Dieguito Tennis Club and gets games in with her parents — now in their 60s and living in Rancho Santa Fe — about three or four times a week.

Susman’s Star Award stemmed from her grassroots tennis efforts while living in the UK for the last four years. Susman started out with just a net on the street, enticing children who had nothing to do but hang out in parking lots to come and play tennis.

“My house was like a library where kids could check out tennis rackets,” Susman said.

From there, she took a look at local parks, how children had an interest to play but couldn’t afford to rent the courts. She said there was a great local recreation facility with a court that hardly anyone was on because they didn’t want to pay. She said she’d see people sneak onto the courts at closing time.

Susman lobbied the rec center to set up a free festival for children to play tennis that got recognized by the BBC News and drew a crowd of about 1,000.

She moved on to get local schools involved and set up a Tennis for Free program, where an organization paid for court maintenance for two years and offered free lessons.

Susman earned her USTPA award for her work across the pond but said she hopes to bring some of her methods to Carmel Valley, where there are no free places to play tennis in local parks.

The courts at the Carmel Valley Recreation Center are privately owned and do not offer free play to residents, neighboring schools or the Boys and Girls Club.

Maintenance costs for courts are minimal and she hopes she can get local businesses or other groups to sponsor free tennis time.

“Why should tennis be taxed?” asked Susman. “We need to have free places so kids that want to be active can be active.”

Anyone interested in helping with Susman’s free tennis cause can contact her at shelley@sls10s.com.

Related posts:

  1. New Tennis Club manager meets the community
  2. Ranch tennis club going strong after 46 years
  3. Tennis Club hires new manager
  4. Local tennis great facing his greatest opponent: Cancer
  5. Santaluz to host tennis tournament

Short URL: http://www.delmartimes.net/?p=7304

Posted by ziggycute1 on Nov 5, 2009. Filed under Archives. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply

Archives

Facebook

Bottom Buttons 1

Bottom Buttons 2

Bottom Buttons 3

Bottom Buttons 4

Bottom Buttons 5

Bottom Buttons 6

LA JOLLA NEWS

RSS LA JOLLA NEWS

RANCHO SANTA FE NEWS

RANCHO SANTA FE NEWS

RSS RANCHO SANTA FE NEWS

  • Horizon Prep in Rancho Santa Fe graduates from cottages to new campus building
    Horizon Prep dedicated five new grammar school classrooms on Monday, Aug. 25. Donor contributions have allowed the Rancho Santa Fe school to grow from 14 little green cottages to a school with 29 state-of-the-art classrooms and more to come. “We couldn’t be more excited about the opening of this school year,” said Dr. Bob Botsford, Horizon Prep president and […]
  • Rancho Santa Fe Republican Women to present candidates forum
    The Rancho Santa Fe Republican Women, Fed., members will present Republican candidates for federal, state and local races at their “Best Party in Town” event from 3-5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 21, at the Morgan Run Resort & Club. The candidates have been invited to speak and meet with the voters. Cost is $25; light refreshments will be served. Please send check […]
  • Rancho Santa Fe Library to present Alzheimer’s series
    Taking aim at Alzheimer’s, the county Board of Supervisors in May launched the Alzheimer’s Project, an effort to create a regional strategy to improve caregiver resources and to support research efforts to find better treatments and ultimately, a cure for the disease. […]