PTM interviews APTA President John Horine

John H. Horine
John H. Horine

PTM: How did you become an APTA president?

JHH: I had been on the Board for two years as president of Region III when then APTA President Charley Stevens asked me if I would like to be vice-president along with Nancy Mangan. I had brought up several new ideas before the Board during that time, including the APTA Visa card, the Board teleconference, and the website. I had also been working closely with Charley trying to secure national sponsors for the APTA.

PTM: How long is your term?

JHH: Charley Stevens passed the torch to me after the meeting in 1997. The term of office of President, as with all Board positions, is one year. I have been re-elected the past two years.

PTM: How long have you been into platform tennis?

JHH: My stepfather introduced me to the game in the mid 70′s. I began helping him (and my mother) run the Maryland State Men’s tournament in the early 80′s. I took over the tournament solo in 1989. Before joining the APTA Board in 1994, I had been on the committee of almost every tournament in Baltimore.

PTM: What are your plans for the APTA and platform tennis?

JHH: Many of the ideas I had hoped to implement are already in place such as the website, the professional teaching association and this magazine. There are several additional ideas that I would like to see considered before ‘retiring’ from my position. I would like to see a physical location for a Platform Tennis Hall of Fame, national sponsors for the APTA, and an expanded tournament schedule.

PTM: Tell us your thoughts on the Hall of Fame.

JHH: Many sports have a hall of fame. Although we induct individuals into the Platform Tennis Hall of Fame, we have no place to continually recognize those who have contributed so greatly to our sport. I would like to see a hall or room where we can place objects such as paddles, pictures, awards, balls and other items that have been donate by people across the country. A place where people can go to get a realm history and feel for how the game began and how it has progressed through the years The APTA office has many of these things in storage now. I would like to see a place where this history can be displayed.

PTM: What are the benefits of national sponsors?

JHH: Platform tennis players fit into a unique demographic segment of the sporting public. I believe that platform tennis can offer a wide range of companies a niche market for their products and services. If we can secure enough advertising dollars from several companies, the APTA could greatly expand the game by sponsoring beginner and season opening clinics all over the country. We could also offer “seed money” to all the APTA sanctioned events, including all of the National Championships. Right now our operating budget is so tight that we are not able to offer these benefits to our members without having the dues go out of sight.

PTM: You mentioned an expanded tournament schedule. How do you plan on doing that?

JHH: I would like to see a tournament, no matter the size, in places around the country where there are three or more courts. I laid out a map of the US and plotted the locations of regional and national tournaments. I was surprised to see how concentrated the areas are. Three years ago in Region III, we expanded our horizons south to Charlottesville, VA. I would like to see an event in Kansas City and locations further west.

PTM: Thank you John for your role, along with the entire Board of Directors, in growing platform tennis at a rate unheard of in over 20 years. We look forward to seeing your goals and dreams realized over the coming years.

Source: Platform Tennis Magazine, Issue 3, January, 2000