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Letter from a Wisconsin Tennis Friend

May 19, 2008 11:10 PM

This is a follow up to the “Wisconsin Travels the USA - New Orleans & California Trip” news article of 03/17/08, posted on the WTA website and written by Andy Rebhun Wisconsin Club Tennis President.

The letter is from a UW Alumni named Steve Kappes from Chula Vista California.  Steve sent the “letter” via e-mail to Andy Rebhun and Steve Wise copied me on the letter to Andy.  After I read Steve’s letter, I immediately e-mailed Steve to ask his permission to publish his “letter.”

Here is Steve’s response, followed by his letter to Andy:

Dear Lloyd,
 
Thank you very much for your note.  I'm flattered that you would be interested in posting my letter -- you absolutely have my permission!
 
I must compliment you on the WTA website, too.  It's well organized with lots of great content.  It's clear that tennis is alive and well in Wisconsin on many levels!
 
I extend an open invitation to anyone from your District/Section to contact me if they ever need a tennis point of contact in San Diego.  Best regards to all of you!
 
Sincerely,
Steve Kappes

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Hi Andy,
 
As a tennis playing UW-Madison alum from '84, I'm writing to say "Congratulations!" to you and your club team.  I read your story in the May/June '08 USTA magazine & am very proud of your vision, initiative, tenacity and hard work in attracting so many students into the club, and for your collective on-court successes.  I wish there had been such a club when I was there.  I offer you a personal perspective for your consideration.
 
I was a high school varsity player, but not good enough to join the UW team, so I was left with finding my own pick-up games, and without an organized group, it was sporadic at best.  I remember wandering around the Nielsen tennis stadium, marveling at the facility but feeling like an outsider, not worthy of playing there because I wasn't on the varsity team.  As a result, I went four years without playing much.

Many years later, I got back into tennis, and through the USTA adult league program, re-discovered the joy of the game, and surprisingly made it to the national championships with my team when I was in my 30's.  I'm now a community tennis enthusiast, and serve on the Board of Directors of the San Diego District Tennis Association (the local USTA chapter), the San Diego Division of the U.S. Professional Tennis Association (I'm a certified instructor), and Youth Tennis San Diego.  As a result, I can see first-hand what positive impact tennis can have in the lives of people of all ages and demographics.
 
What excites me about your program is that you and others like you are creating an environment and opportunities that are keeping more players in the game, and will undoubtedly have a positive effect across the country as people graduate and get involved in their own tennis communities.  It's a huge win-win situation in my view, and I'm thrilled that my alma mater is playing a lead role.
 
Keep up the great work, and please let me know if you or your team ever comes out to San Diego -- I'd be happy to assist in any way I can.
 
P.S.  Congrats on your new car!    :-)
 
Best Regards, and "On Wisconsin!"
 
Steve Kappes

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Thanks very much Steve for allowing us to post this great letter to Andy on the WTA website, and for your offer to be a contact person in the San Diego area for our tennis friends.

Lloyd Cook, USPTA
President, Wisconsin Tennis Association

 

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