Two award recipients affiliated with the Belton Tennis Association have been named as 2019 award winners:
- Chick-fil-A of Anderson USTA South Carolina Sponsor of the Year
- SPUD-USTA Southern Special Tennis Event of the Year
Chick-fil-A of Anderson has been the title sponsor of the Palmetto Championships for many years. They also support three other tennis events in Belton….SPUD, the Hall of Fame Classic and the South Carolina Men’s Collegiate Championships. Their owner, Jon Holmes, serves as the President of Cardinal Racket Club and sponsors two adult tournaments held in Anderson each year. This is the second time Chick-fil-A of Anderson has received the state award. Holmes was named the Honorary Chairman of the 2018 Palmetto Championships.
Rex Maynard said: “Jon Holmes and his staff at Chick-fil-A of Anderson do so much more than just provide money and product. They are involved sponsors who contribute a lot to the success of all our events. They’re always interested in what they can do to make it better for the players, and they always go the extra mile to help. We’re grateful and lucky to have a partner like them, and we congratulate Jon and his company on this honor.”
The Special Populations Unified Doubles (SPUD) tennis tournament which was played for the 10th consecutive year in Belton June 21-22 has been named the USTA Southern Special Tennis Event of the Year. The Southern Section covers 9 states. This is the fifth Southern Award received by Belton Tennis. Earlier awards include:
- Palmetto Championships, 2-time winner of the Junior Tournament of the Year
- Hall of Fame Classic-Team Event of the Year
- Belton Tennis Association-Community Tennis Association of the Year
The tournament featured 40 special athletes competing as team in doubles with a unified partner. Matches were played at the Belton Tennis Center and Leda Poore Park. The tournament is presented by USTA Southern, hosted by the Belton Tennis Association and sponsored by Chick-fil-A of Anderson and a number of other local supporters.
The Belton Area Museum hosted the athletes and partners for lunch at the historic Belton depot Friday, which includes a visit to the South Carolina Tennis Hall of Fame. The Chick-fil-A visited, had a great time with the athletes and was part of the group picture. The athletes, partners, chaperones and volunteers enjoyed a special treat Friday night with a pizza party at the Listening Room on Main followed by entertainment from the Combo Kings…..with a lot of fun and dancing! The Belton Tennis Association provided lunch Saturday, which was followed by the closing awards ceremony.
The athletes and partners were divided into 6 teams with each team wearing the appropriate color shirt. The yellow team won the team competition and every player and unified partner received an award. Two sportsmanship awards, named in honor of Tournament Director Rex Maynard, were presented to Kristin Locatelli from Lexington, S. C. and Dennis Haratine from Atlanta.
Tournament Director Rex Maynard said: “This is another great honor for Belton Tennis, the people who help put this on and the athletes and unified partners who play. We are really happy to be able to host this great event in Belton. It brings together a great group of people who care more about others than themselves. We have winners and those that don’t win, but no losers in this event. We host some larger, more prestigious tennis events in Belton, but none are more important to our community and Belton Tennis than SPUD. It’s a great example of many people working together for the common good. The smiles on the faces of the athletes make it all worthwhile. This year we were able to play all of our matches at the Belton Tennis Center and Leda Poore Park, and it gave the athletes more opportunities to interact and have fun with each other and the unified partners. It’s hard to believe this was our 10th year, but as they say….time flies when you’re having fun! We appreciate all the local support that helps make this great event possible!”
A number of local volunteers worked with Maynard with the tournament including a number of unified partners, including players on the BHP Girl’s tennis team and their coach Craig Joyner. Frances Russell, Maxine LeCroy, Sandra Gaillard, Mary Boiter, Jean Anne Maynard, Kathleen Maynard, Brice Maynard, Weezer Maynard and Jenni West helped with the meals and parties.
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