Game, set, match! When it comes to tennis, the sport is second nature to Amy Richmond, JV tennis coach. For her volunteer efforts, Richmond was recently named the December Volunteer of the Month by the Midwest section of the United States Tennis Association.
Richmond also received the Bill Letwin Award from the Wisconsin Tennis Association in November. This award was established in 1967 and named after a former Milwaukee Journal sportswriter. Honorees are awarded for their dedication and service to tennis, in honor of Letwin covering the sport for more than 40 years.
“Getting this recognition was very positive,” Richmond said, “and I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing. I want to keep my love and passion for tennis and keep passing it on to others.”
Richmond has been playing tennis for nearly 20 years. Her interest in the sport started when she took a class through the recreation department and got hooked.
“Whenever I had the opportunity, I would play with other people or against the backboard … and I loved to watch people play,” Richmond said. “That’s when I knew how fun it would be.”
Tennis is something that Richmond loves doing because of its universality.
“It’s not just a sport; it’s a lifetime skill. You learn a lot of things from playing tennis: how to be mentally tough and how to work through challenges … It’s mentally and physically challenging,” Richmond said. “Tennis is one of the only sports that you can still play well into your 80s and 90s.”
Richmond also serves on the Board of Directors for the Wisconsin Tennis Association. One of her major projects is the Summerfest Sports Zone program.
“As the board, we reached out to Summerfest and gave them the idea of putting on a tennis exhibition,” Richmond said.
The program allows participants to experience the sport by playing with professionals on courts, and Richmond has expanded it to allow thousands of the festival’s attendees to be introduced to the sport with the help of many volunteers.
“From then on, it’s been a positive experience … to bring kids, parents, grandparents and everybody to tennis,” Richmond said.
Additionally, Richmond also received the Rollie Mueller President’s Award in 2003 for her drive to motivate others to play tennis through a program or activity.
“Tennis is a lifetime sport, and I want to encourage other people to do it, so that they in turn can pass that on to their friends and family to get more people involved,” Richmond said.
Richmond describes herself as passionate and hardworking. Her service is inspired by her parents. “They were very hard workers and … very positive role models. Whoever needed it, they would always be there to help them,” Richmond said. “I want to be a legacy to my father.”
Richmond enjoys playing tennis with her family, and inspiring others to play tennis.
“I volunteer because of my love for tennis, and I want to pass that on to the people I meet along the way,” Richmond said. “I want to give back what I received.”
By Ananya Murali