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ASBA Members, Affiliates Win RSI Awards

While the Technical Meeting has traditionally been the showcase for ASBA members' winning projects in its annual awards program, it is also the place where Racquet Sports Industry Magazine holds its first peek at the winners of each year's Champions of Tennis honors.

This year, at the meeting held in Palm Desert, several ASBA members were recognized, as was one individual with whom members are very familiar. All winners were recognized in print in the magazine's January 2012 issue. (For those who need the 4-1-1,

RSI is the largest trade magazine serving the tennis industry. Its Champions of Tennis awards recognize those who have made outstanding contributions throughout the year)

Leslie Coatings, Inc. of Indianapolis, Indiana, was named Tennis Court Contractor of the Year. Leslie Coatings, which built its first tennis court in 1954, has been involved with multiple aspects of the athletic facility construction industry since that time, and has completed more than 12,000 projects. Its principals, Jerry Gray and David Nielsen, have been active in the industry and in ASBA, serving on the board of directors, in multiple committees, and having acted as presenters at meetings.

Leslie Coatings, which specializes in both tennis court and running track construction and resurfacing, was a pioneer in the asphalt maintenance industry, specializing in the application of liquid coatings. The company includes a large staff as well as office, warehouse and trucking capabilities, and has a territory that includes the entire Midwest region.

Hinding Tennis of West Haven, Connecticut was named 10 and Under Facility Developer of the Year for its work in not only installing but actively promoting the concept of blended lines on courts so that both children and adult's programming could be held. Tom Hinding, owner of the company, has also helped tennis facility managers apply for court improvement grant funding available from the U.S. Tennis Association's facility grant program. The 10 and Under Facility Developer of the Year award is a new honor in light of the industry's increased emphasis on junior player development.

Lee Sponaugle, director of corporate accounts for Connor Sport Surfaces International, located in Salt Lake City, Utah, was named Sales Rep of the Year by RSI. Sponaugle was recognized for his forward-thinking approach in promoting the Sport Court modular surface as learning areas for children using the QuickStart Tennis format for ages 10 and Under. Because of Sponaugle's work, and his dedication to giving children new places to learn the game, Sport Court has been recognized as the Official Modular Court for 10 and Under Tennis by USTA.

Jeremiah Yolkut, the USTA’s manager of competitive play and technical programs, was recognized as Wheelchair Tennis Champion of the Year. Yolkut, a regular attendee at ASBA meetings, has been working with the USTA’s wheelchair program for the last four years, and has had a hand in helping wheelchair events from the grassroots to the highest levels of international competition. Yolkut has been instrumental in pushing grassroots grants for local wheelchair programs. The grants program started about three years ago and continues to grow; the USTA in 2011 increased to $50,000 the amount available for wheelchair tennis grants, which go to organizations such as CTAs, hospitals, businesses, etc. He has also been instrumental in working out the logistics of helping U.S. teams to go to international events.

"ASBA is proud of all those who were recognized," said Mark Brogan, Chairman, "and we're honored that RSI Magazine chose them as Champions of Tennis for 2011."

Information on RSI and the Champions of Tennis program, including a list of other honorees, can be found on the magazine's website at

© 2012 American Sports Builders Association 

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