On November 20, 2010, the Center for Sport Leadership was honored for its “Young Aces Open” event. The event, held in partnership with VCU’s Lobs & Lessons, was recognized as the U.S. Tennis Association Mid-Atlantic’s 2010 Community Program of the Year.
The CSL and Lobs & Lessons coordinated the very first Young Aces Open on April 14, 2010 as an event for the youth of the Richmond community. More than 150 4th and 5th graders from Richmond City schools gathered at VCU’s Cary Street Field for a QuickStart Tennis tournament. The Richmond Tennis Association (RTA) trained all Richmond City Public School physical education teachers in QuickStart, which they taught in their schools throughout the school year, concluding with the Young Aces Open event. The event was a huge success that benefitted the local community and served its purpose of beginning to grow the game of tennis in the Richmond area among elementary and middle school kids. The second annual Young Aces Open is scheduled to be held again in April 2011 and the CSL’s current group of students is busy planning.
Dr. Carrie LeCrom, Assistant Director of the CSL and Tina Carter, Director of Lobs & Lessons, attended the USTA Mid-Atlantic Awards Luncheon in Ellicott City, Maryland, to accept the award on behalf of Young Aces Open and VCU. In speaking of the event, LeCrom commented, “It was a great ceremony and we were proud to have received this award. The hard work of the CSL students was recognized and well deserved. It is an amazing event for our community and we hope that the second Young Aces Open can be an even greater success!” Carter added ” I am honored to receive this award with CSL and am proud of the hard work and dedication their students put towards coordinating this event for Lobs & Lessons and the City’s youth.”
Other notable USTA Mid-Atlantic award winners from the Richmond area included:
President Award- Joe and Shima Grover
President Award- City of Richmond (3rd Best Tennis Town)
Volunteer of the Year- Eric Perkins
Leagues Coordinator of the Year- Stone and Patty Smith
Tournament of the Year- Midlothian Athletic Club Wheelchair Open