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President's Letter February 2019

Hello Kentucky Tennis Family!

 

What a year it’s been! As the saying goes, “Time flies when you’re having fun!” and I couldn’t agree more – I’ve had so much fun getting to know and serve each of you through this past year! 

 

As a state, we have so much to be proud of - from the Kentucky Tennis Tour in June, which touched nearly 1000 people on the court in communities across our state from Paducah to Ashland, to leading the Southern Section in Net Generation provider registrations. Thanks to each of you we are creating a culture, setting a tone and providing a standard of excellence for the great state of Kentucky!

 

From grassroots tennis for kids and beginner adults to our amazing, committed Adult League players and competitive juniors, there is a place in our game for everyone, no matter age or experience level. 

 

I am also proud to say that there’s also a place in our game, no matter your race, gender, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or socio-economic status.  Our Kentucky staff, Diversity & Inclusion committee and CTA’s are working hard to make sure that anyone and everyone who wants to play tennis has that opportunity.  Diversity & Inclusion is a priority because it allows us to grow our game in meaningful ways and, more importantly, providing access for everyone to enjoy the benefits of the game we love so much is just the right thing to do!

 

You’ve probably heard me say it before, but on the court, we’re the same!  Playing tennis highlights our commonalities more than our differences.  We may play at different levels but, put a racket in our hands and you’ll see a smile on our faces, passion in our hearts and joy in our spirits. But the truth is, it’s not about the winning and losing (although we all enjoy a good win).  The truth is that tennis is about relationships.  As you look back on this past year, my guess is that your memories will likely focus on your friends, your teammates, your family and the experiences you shared with them. These are the stories that define our shared experiences as tennis players and humans.

 

During the Kentucky Tennis Weekend, Hall of Fame inductees Mike Eden and Matt Emery, as well as the annual award winners, highlighted the moments that meant the most to them. Without fail, it was the people in their lives they wanted to talk about. It was the support of parents, spouses, coaches, teammates and friends that made their success possible, confirming again that relationships are the most important aspect of our game!

 

We live in a day and time where real, meaningful relationships seem to be more difficult to come by.  Through tennis we can reach out through our rackets and make an impact on someone else’s life.  I encourage you to reflect on what you love about tennis and why you continue to be involved in the game.  My guess is that the most common answer will be related to people.  And when you realize how important these people have been in your life, I hope you’ll reach out, say thank you, and that you’ll extend an invitation to someone new - so that they too can experience the power of connectedness that tennis provides each of us. 

 

I’ve been honored to represent each and every one of you in 2018 and I’m looking forward to an even better 2019.

 

Find your serve,

 

Rainey Johns

USTA KY President

 

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