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2012

PTMHOFF makes progress towards “virtual museum”

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The PTMHOFF established revised goals in 2011 after an arrangement for housing a physical museum fell through. A significant part of 2012 was spent in pursuing Phase 1 of the new plan: Phase I: Create a “virtual” museum and Hall of Fame with the first step being a dramatic upgrade to original web site. The revised site would have three features – an illustrated history of the game, a completely new look and feel for the Hall of Fame with extensive biographies, and a “Search and Explore” section which would house all of the memorabilia collected in digital formats and allow visitors to browse the artifacts by various search keys (by name, for instance). This phase which is the foundation and heart of the revised mission, was now about 75% complete with the collection and digitization of artifacts, the development of the illustrated time-line history and the revised and e[...]

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2012

APTA 2012 Service Award goes to Anne Fleming

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Serves Her Right! Anne Flemming Wins the 2012 APTA Service Award The APTA created the APTA Service Award in 2009 to recognize people who have made invaluable contributions to platform tennis. This year, out of ten deserving nominees, Anne Flemming from California was chosen by the board for her truly remarkable service. Tim McAvoy says, "For 33 years, our Service Award winner was the driving force, the official and unofficial ambassador and champion of platform tennis in California and Region VI." Tom Mayes says, "Her infectious and enthusiastic nature got me and many, many others involved in our fun sport. Without her, the face of platform tennis in our local community may not even exist." Christi Hayes says, "It takes a force of nature to promote paddle and grow it where the climate and attitude is so biased toward other sports. It takes unbridled enthusiasm and single mind[...]

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2012

Brad Easterbrook takes the reins at PPTA

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Brad Easterbrook
Brad Easterbrook

Brad Easterbrook started his two-year reign as President of the PPTA (Professional Platform Tennis Association) this September. Easterbrook welcomes the challenge of his new position and the gratification of working with more than 300 top-notch professionals. A player and pro for over 25 years, Easterbrook currently is the Director of Platform Tennis at the New Canaan Field Club in Connecticut. He has worked as a director of racquets at various clubs in the tri-state area, many of which had platform tennis courts. In 1994, he started playing platform tennis. He credits Steve O'Connell with introducing him to the game and, as with most tennis pros, he picked it up quickly. By 1998, he was playing and teaching as much paddle as tennis. He was drawn to the camaraderie and atmosphere surrounding the game. "The game is tremendous fun. Win or lose, it's always a great time Easterbrook wa[...]

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2012

Player Profiles – Jane McNitt and Wendy Shpiz

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Jane McNitt and Wendy Shpiz
Jane McNitt and Wendy Shpiz

Jane McNitt Residence: Winnetka, IL Family: Husband, Peter; children: Peter Jr. (19), Johnny (17), Megan (15) Profession: Part-time platform tennis professional Hobbies off the courts: Swimming, biking, rollerblading and skiing Awards/Accolades within the sport: Winner of Chicago Charities (‘05, '10, '12) Illinois State, Midwesterns, Indianapolis, St. Louis, Kalamazoo, and Illinois State Mixed tournaments Wendy Shpiz Residence: Winnetka, IL Family: Husband, Dave; children: Jack (4), Charlie (3), Mollie (1) Profession: Marketing Director - Nike Tennis Camps Hobbies off the courts: Spend as much time with my family as possible, skiing and running Awards/Accolades: 1992 Illinois State Tennis Champion. All-American at Duke University. On the pro tennis tour for three years and made Top 250 in the world. How long have you two been playing as a team and how did your team [...]

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2012

Chicago Charities – McNitt and Shipz capture the Women’s and du Randt and Parsons the Men’s

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With Hurricane Sandy leaving one of platform tennis' strongholds reeling, the devastation along the East Coast was more than evident this year at the Women's 2012 Chicago Charities tournament. Many of the nationally-ranked teams that usually come out of the New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia region were eerily absent this year, virtually allowing Chicago women full reign of the tournament. This year's Charities benefitted Family Matters, a group located in Chicago's North of Howard neighborhood that offers children and families individualized personal development experiences that provide opportunities to find their place in the world and to be a force for positive change. The 48-team women's event kicked off on Friday, November 2 at 8 a.m., with overcast skies and mid-50s temperatures that were sustained throughout the weekend. http://www.flickr.com/photos/31584475@N05/81538479[...]

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2012

Senior Profile – Jim Dey

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Jim Dey lets it fly Jim Dey should be called Jim Diehard. The man has been playing paddle since he was 10 years old, for 60 years. He grew up in Short Hills, New Jersey, with platform tennis courts right around the corner. His only time away from the game was during a work stint in the state of Washington, where courts were non-existent. He moved back to the East Coast in his early 20s, and immediately got back into the game. In all those decades, he has basically had two steady partners: Bob Smith in the early years, and John Spears, who he has played with off and on for over 30 years. "Paddle has gotten me through a lot of winters," Dey laughed. "I don't need to get away?' If you have ever had the pleasure of staying at the Shelter Harbor Inn, you would understand that concept even more so. Dey bought the cozy retreat 36 years ago. Replete with outstanding food, a rooftop hot tub[...]

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2012

Jerry Wahl – Cincinnati’s volunteer extrordinaire

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Cincinnati's hut commander extraordinaire enjoys all the action Cincinnati's hut commander extraordinaire enjoys all the action Jerry Wahl of Cincinnati has found the recipe for a good life. She stays active, playing many sports, including 30 years of platform tennis. She loves the career she established as an event coordinator. She now meshes work and play by volunteering at sporting events, where she often is asked to take on a leadership position. As someone once said, "To work at the things you love, or for those you love, is to turn work into play, and duty into privilege:' So, while Wahl works at a sports event, she really is also playing, and she feels privileged to be able to do so. "Because this is my profession, it is not a burden to do this stuff," Wahl explains. Wahl has been working at the Midwesterns, a three-day tournament with over 150 teams, for so many years, she [...]

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2013

National Championship results and coverage of Men’s and Women’s Nationals

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New Jersey Hosts the Best and Brightest in the Game On the shores of Franklin Lake, New Jersey, players from all over the nation converged on the Indian Trail Club (and 17 other area clubs) in early March for the APTA Men's and Women's National Championships. They were met with cheerful faces and crisp lake breezes. APTA Men's and Women's Day One: President's Cup Despite the best laid plans of organizers and Tournament Director Michael Gillespie, a driving wintery mix of snow, sleet and rain welcomed the participants to the Men's and Women's President's Cup on Thursday morning, March 7th. Coming off a two-year winning streak, the Region V (Chicago/Midwest) ladies had high expectations going into the President's Cup. 2013, however, was not to be their year in the six-region match-up. In round-robin play, Region I dominated Pool A and Region III in Pool B. In a four-te[...]

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2013

Hall of Fame Inductee: David Ohlmuller

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Among an audience of long-time friends, family members, and the best platform tennis players in the world, David Ohlmuller was lauded for his talent and his resilience. The night was filled with laughs and some deep emotions, as Ohlmuller's story captivated the crowd. Tim McAvoy, last year's inductee and a member of the Hall of Fame Committee, introduced Ohlmuller. The transcript of McAvoy's induction speech is printed below in its entirety. Tonight we honor a man who dominated the sport of platform tennis and then came back from a near death accident to reach the pinnacle of our sport for a second time. Born in 1969, our inductee was introduced to the game by his mother, Ginna, who in addition to playing platform tennis was the Executive Director for the American Platform Tennis Association. In fact, in his early teenage days our inductee was bribed by his mother to play—h[...]

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2013

The Longest Game – Documentary highlights the game and friendship

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Camille Thoman didn't go to Dorset, Vermont expecting to make a movie about platform tennis, but when she and her mother stepped into the paddle hut at the Dorset Field Club, she found a group of senior players that she found irresistible. "We walked in, and there were these old men there making fun of each other, bantering and sharing laughs around the sport," Thoman said. "My mother said, 'You should make your next film about these guys,' and to be honest, I was charmed to my tippy toes by them." Thoman, an acclaimed director, who has worked with talent such as Tony nominee Mireille Enos, Oscar nominee Melissa Leo and Oscar winner Timothy Hutton, as well as produced her own one-woman theater pieces, flew with producer Elizabeth Yng-Wong to Vermont thinking they would be filming a short. They quickly found that they had something bigger on their hands. "These are special people[...]

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