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WTA Tennis




Franklin Coach Selected as a Finalist for 2012 USTA Starfish Award

September 30, 2012 05:37 PM
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Congratulations, Gail Champion, Franklin High School Tennis Coach for being selected as a finalist for the 2012 USTA Starfish Award in recognition for outstanding commitment to USTA’s No-Cut Tennis Program.
The United States Tennis Association (USTA) announced the 10 national finalists for the 2012 USTA Starfish Award. Gail Champion from Franklin High School in Franklin, Wis., has been selected as one of the finalists for her long-term commitment to this inclusive policy. The USTA Starfish Award recognizes exceptional high school coaches who implement a “no-cut” policy, welcoming all interested students to be part of their school tennis team. This award is in its eighth year of existence and has honored 14 recipients since 2005.
“The USTA is proud to name Gail Champion a finalist for the Starfish Award, for enriching the lives of her players through her no-cut tennis program,” said Kurt Kamperman, USTA Chief Executive, Community Tennis. “Ensuring that all players receive real match playing time and treating all of them as equals is a sign of Gail’s devotion to emphasize the one-team concept.”
Champion has been implementing the “no-cut” policy for the past four years in Franklin, Wis. She launched the Franklin High School boys’ tennis program and has been leading it for 10 years, developing a strong reputation for good sportsmanship and fair play for both coach and team alike. This past season she had 39 players on her team, all of them boys. During Champion’s tenure as head coach, the varsity and junior varsity teams have each won their respective conferences six times.
There are more than 3,625 coaches nationwide implementing this initiative, and some programs have more than 100 official high school tennis team members. The coaches of these teams serve as positive role models and make a difference by spending the extra time and effort to ensure that young players experience the fun and fulfillment of representing their high school tennis team. To qualify for the USTA Starfish Award, coaches must be: currently implementing a no-cut policy on their tennis teams, currently registered with the USTA as a “no-cut coach,” and be coaching tennis for a minimum of five years. Final winners are determined by a select panel of USTA committee members, staff, volunteers and career no-cut coaches.
To register as a no-cut coach or learn more about the program, visit www.usta.com/no-cut.