The USTA honored Barbara Wynne of Indianapolis, Ind., with the USTA NJTL Founders’ Service Award. Wynne was recognized at the USTA’s Annual Meeting, on April 3, in Naples, Fla., with the inaugural award. Please click here to watch a video
about Barbara Wynne.
In its first year, the award was created to recognize an individual who is committed to positive youth development through tennis and education, delivers outstanding service to underserved children with free or low-cost tennis, and provides education and life-skills programming. The award will be given each year to those best reflecting the values of NJTL founders Charles Pasarell, Sheridan Snyder and Arthur Ashe.
Wynne began her USTA volunteer activities more than 42 years ago. In 1968, at the urging of Indiana Senator Richard Lugar, Barbara founded the Riverside Upswing Program, which later became known as the Indianapolis Chapter of the National Junior Tennis League. Wynne later served as President of the Central Indiana Tennis Association from 1987-88, and in 1990, she originated and became Chairperson of the first national Arthur Ashe Essay Contest.
An advocate, coach and teacher of the sport, Wynne was awarded the USTA Eve Kraft Community Service Award in 1977, the International Tennis Hall of Fame Educational Merit Award in 1984, the USTA Silver Service Bowl Award in 1990 and the International Tennis Federation Major Winfield Award in 2007. The creative force behind the expansion of youth tennis in Greater Indianapolis, Wynne was inducted in the USTA Midwest Hall of Fame in 2000 and honored with the USTA Midwest 30 Year Service Award in 2005.
Wynne has spent her lifetime promoting the game’s benefits and Arthur Ashe’s vision of using tennis as a way to gain and hold the attention of young people. She adamantly believes that through tennis, lives can be changed. Wynne’s immeasurable impact on Indianapolis will be seen for generations to come, especially via the NJTL of Indianapolis. Over the years, Wynne has helped the chapter expand its offerings to include after-school and summer programs, impacting more than 1,400 youth each summer season in 19 local public parks and schools. In addition, to further grow the game of tennis in the Greater Indianapolis area, Wynne also currently holds the position as President and Founder, Indianapolis Junior Tennis Development Fund and Midwest Youth Tennis and Education Foundation (MYTEF) Director At-Large.
It is evident that her passion and dedication for youth tennis stretch far beyond the Central Indiana community. Wynne currently sits on the USTA National Committee for the NJTL and on the Board of Directors for USTA Serves, addressing the needs of the college scholarship granting cycles.
"Barbara’s passion, drive and energy are an inspiration to those who play and teach tennis," said Kurt Kamperman, Chief Executive, Community Tennis, USTA. "We are proud to honor Barbara and the work being done by the NJTL of Indianapolis with the inaugural USTA NJTL Founders’ Service Award. Her commitment to impact today’s youth not only through tennis, but with programs that emphasize character and education, illustrates the values established by NJTL founders Charles Pasarell, Sheridan Snyder and Arthur Ashe."
Congratulations and thank you Barbara for being such a great friend and supporter for the game of tennis!