The 2014 Utah Tennis Association Annual Awards Event was held on Thursday, January 30, 2014, at the Old Mill Clubhouse. The awards evening gives Utah Tennis an opportunity to recognize and thank all of their volunteers, sponsors, facilities, and special friends who all contributed to helping make tennis thrive during the year 2013 in the state of Utah. The evening was also a fundraiser for the Utah Junior Tennis Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization.

The event introduces the Utah Tennis Association officers and board members and recognizes retiring board members. Utah Tennis is devoted to developing and promoting the growth of tennis, to establish rules of play and standards of amateurism and good sportsmanship. Utah Tennis involves the entire state of Utah with approximately 5900 USTA dues-paying members.

That evening Andi Porter of Kanab, Utah received the Linda Vincent Community Award.

Established in 1998 and named in honor of Linda Vincent, Executive Director for Utah Tennis for 16 years, this award is presented to an individual for their outstanding contribution to the tennis community.

In her acceptance speech, Porter highlighted the exceptional attitudes of the Kane County tennis players and challenged the United States Tennis Association to develop a rural initiative geared toward offering coaching resources and funding to areas where tennis is an unfamiliar sport.

Kane Community Tennis had an outstanding year in 2013 with the addition of Valley Tennis at the Valley High School courts. In all, 80 players participated in summer lesson sessions in Kanab and Orderville, with 15 additional players in fall clinics.

The program is off to a strong start in 2014 with Kanab Elementary School and Valley High School offering tennis as part of their PE classes. Discussions are beginning with Big Water volunteers to offer tennis instruction there.

As a result of the Kane Community Tennis presentation, community tennis associations throughout Utah have offered encouragement and equipment for our rural initiative. Tennis professionals from Park City will visit Kane County this spring to lead lesson clinics and a fun for all Play Day. Clinics and lessons will be offered throughout Kane County this year.

For more information on how kids and adults can take part in this “sport for a lifetime,” please contact Tyler Cornell, Kane County Recreation Director, at 644-5033 or Andi Porter, Kane Community Tennis Coordinator, at 321-626-4091.