POTTSTOWN PA – The United States Tennis Association has named its local affiliate, the Greater Pottstown Tennis Association, as the Middle States’ winner of its 2012 Community Tennis Association of the Year award, coach and Director of Operations Kerriann Herdelin announced Wednesday (March 13, 2013).
That’s no back-handed compliment. Membership in the association and its accompanying Greater Pottstown Tennis and Learning network have grown more than 700 percent during the past two years, reflecting what Herdelin called the “experience, expertise and talent” that has helped create low-cost or free tennis clinics and sport-related programs for under-served youths in the Pottstown School District.
The national association paid particular attention to the local effort to involve school-age players. The Pottstown groups have operated special clinics, leagues, USTA Junior Team Tennis programs, tournaments, a bus trip to the U.S. Open, and special events, all with an eye on increasing interest, physical activity and fitness.
Herdelin said a Pottstown Area Health & Wellness Foundation grant helped fund a free after-school tennis program for Pottstown Middle School students that additionally taught nutrition and life skills. The association also sponsored a free winter clinic for Pottstown students in grades 6-12 to encourage their participation on the Pottstown High School tennis team, and enlisted students at The Hill School to serve as tennis tutors at no charge.
The association is a non-profit intended to “promote, encourage and foster the development and growth of the sport” for players of all ages in the greater Pottstown area comprised of portions of Montgomery, Chester and Berks counties. Both it and the learning network are overseen by a board of community directors. Daily operations are run by Herdelin and administrator Maryellen Wilson.
Photo from the Greater Pottstown Tennis Association