The 12 Days of RTA Were All Good Ones in 2013
By John Packett, RTA Contributing Writer
As the local tennis season winds down and preparations are beginning for 2014, it’s time to take a look back at the sights and sounds from a very interesting and productive 2013 for the Richmond Tennis Association.
It started with a forward-looking, youthful new president and board that came up with some exciting innovations and continued some old traditions. It ended with a wonderful holiday party at Raintree in December — with promises for another stellar year on tap.
With apologies – and similarities – to the 12 Days of Christmas lyrics — herewith is the RTA’s version of the old folklore tune.
- On the first day of RTA, our organization gave to everyone a multitude of support for the Lobs and Lessons-organized Young Aces Open and Family Open at Virginia Commonwealth University (with special thanks to Tina Carter and her staff);
- On the second day of RTA, the organization lent a helping hand to all the Truong Wheelchair Grand Prix tournament folks at the Midlothian Athletic Club, where everyone could see that being confined to a wheelchair doesn’t stop you from playing the great game of tennis;
- On the third day of RTA, the association co-sponsored (with Davenport and Company) its biggest tournament of the year, where Wortham (appropriately enough) claimed her third Wortham Cup and Eric Shulman produced a second straight performance worthy of the Einwick Cup on the men’s side.
- On the fourth day of RTA, the local organization improved the national travel policy, so more of our local juniors could have the opportunity to test themselves against some of the best young talent in the rest of the country;
- On the fifth day of RTA, the volunteer-supported group sent plenty of help to Battery Park on the North Side for several grass-roots tournaments in an area where there is plenty of potential on the courts – if only someone would help them learn about the game and give them the equipment they need to play;
- On the sixth day of RTA, the outfit began to put together a high-level development program to provide the top-ranked juniors an opportunity to practice with each other — and regain Richmond’s stature among the Mid-Atlantic area and, indeed, the rest of the country;
- On the seventh day of RTA, our organization gave the local pros assistance in conducting the McDonald’s Summer Tournament Series, where up-and-coming juniors could hone their skills and get a healthy taste of competitive tennis that would help them reach the next level;
- On the eighth day of RTA, the association worked really hard – especially Wortham – to sell raffle tickets for a free trip to the U.S. Open Championships in New York, and it paid off for the RTA in a money-making project, as well as for Somdev Devvarman and Jim Cain, who were able to see some great tennis without paying for it.
- On the ninth day of RTA, our group went out of its way in cooperating with the City of Richmond’s Department of Recreation and Parks to build four, 10-under QuickStart courts at Westover Hills Playground and help produce a grand opening in September worthy of an Oscar Night’s red carpet.
- On the 10th day of RTA, the talented local group supported the 20th annual Anthem Challenge at the Westwood Club, which turned into another showcase for the men and women’s doubles teams from ACAC, which captured its third consecutive trophy in the hotly- contested affair.
- On the 11th day of RTA, the organization also co-sponsored two tournaments in October, the RTA Junior Team Cup at ACAC and the Data Technologies Autumn Cup (similar in format to Anthem Challenge) at Avalon Recreation Association. Both were well-attended and the competition came down to the wire.
- And finally, last but far from least, on the 12th day of RTA, the local tennis aficionados hosted one of the most amazing banquets and induction ceremonies of the Richmond Tennis Hall of Fame, which added six individuals, as well as recognizing Thomas Jefferson High School’s record 15 state team championships at the Westin Hotel.
And so, my friends, as we come to the end of another successful year in the RTA, we’ll let Wortham have the final words:
“This has been a great year for the RTA. It has been a privilege to work with so many wonderful people to promote the sport of tennis throughout Richmond. We are forever grateful to our sponsors, volunteers and other generous supporters without whom we wouldn’t be successful. As 2013 comes to a close, we have spent time reflecting on the year’s events — as well as planning for an even better 2014.”