Presidents Letter November 2021

November 2021 President’s Letter


The month of November with Thanksgiving is a very appropriate time to take the time to reflect and be thankful for the sport of tennis in Kentucky and to consider giving back to the sport we love.  This month has brought us two new staff members, two new public tennis facilities along with Southern and National awards.  It has also reminded me of the person that introduced me to tennis.

Please join me in welcoming L.J. Allara and Marcia Littlefield to our USTA Kentucky staff.  L.J. is the Youth Tennis Programs Coordinator and Marcia is the Administration and Events Coordinator.  Both of them are avid tennis players with a passion for the sport and I know each of them will be outstanding in their roles. 

The USTA Kentucky Board of Directors had the opportunity to hold our quarterly meeting at the Warren County Tennis and Sports Facility which opened this month.  The partnership between the Warren County Fiscal Court, Warren County Parks and Recreation and the Southern Kentucky Tennis Association (SOKY) is remarkable and hopefully will serve as a blueprint for other community tennis associations and local governments.  The facility boasts 6 indoor courts, 6 outdoor courts, meeting rooms, a tennis themed play area for children, a lounge and an office for SOKY.  Congrats to everyone involved in helping the beautiful facility come to fruition, but especially Martina Fee who also serves on the USTA KY Board of Directors!

In addition to the Warren County facility, our state is fortunate to have six reconstructed courts open this month at the Bob Amos Park in Pikeville.  It was a pleasure to participate in the ribbon cutting ceremony and see the tennis community’s excitement for the new complex.  In addition to public play, the courts will be utilized by the University of Pikeville and four local high schools.  The eastern portion of our state is lacking in tennis facilities so I would like to thank the City of Pikeville for investing in tennis!  Congrats also to USTA Kentucky Board member Victor Allara for his efforts in supporting the project!

We are fortunate to have Kentucky programs and individuals be recognized at the Southern and National level this month.  First of all, please join me in congratulating the Louisville Area 10 and Under Tennis Association for being chosen for the USTA Southern Diversity and Inclusion Champion Award!   Congratulations to Kentucky Rising Stars members Molly Schleck and Catherin Shaju!   Catherin is the state winner of the NJTL Essay Contest and Molly was named a National USTA Foundation NJTL Essay Contest Winner!  Last, but not least, kudos to Shawn Savage and Mily Ralsten for being invited to participate in the USTA Southern Emerging Leaders Program!


Do you ever think about the person or persons that introduced you to tennis?  I was introduced to tennis by my 9th grade PE teacher at Elizabethtown High School (picture below).  As the years rolled by and my enjoyment of tennis never ceased, I thought of her from time to time.  I sent her a letter this time last year after hearing a sermon suggesting we thank people who had an impact on our life.  If it wasn’t for Faye Siler, I may never had started playing tennis.  I was able to determine her address and explained how much my life and my family’s life has been impacted by tennis.  I wasn’t sure that she would even remember me, but much to my surprise, she knew exactly who I was.  She was very appreciative of my letter and asked that I let her know when I was playing tennis again in Elizabethtown.  That opportunity occurred this past summer when I played in the E-town Open tournament.  It was very exciting to see her and hear her cheer me on as she considered me one of her “boys”.  If you haven’t thanked the person responsible for introducing you to tennis, I would encourage you to do so as it should be a great experience for both of you!

It is my hope that you have been blessed by tennis and if so, please consider giving back with your time or finances to help grow tennis in Kentucky. We are always looking for new volunteers for our various USTA Kentucky and community tennis association committees.  If you are interested in serving, please go to this link to submit an online volunteer interest form.  If you are philanthropically minded, now is a wonderful time to consider a donation to the Raise A Racquet Foundation to benefit deserving juniors and special projects/programs and organizations. Please visit the new Raise a Racquet website.


At Your Service,


Mike Eden

USTA KY President