A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
Garrison To Remain U.S. Fed Cup Captain; Hobson Named USTA/MAS President
McLEAN, Va. — Everyone who has a television knows about the talents of tennis greats Venus and Serena Williams. So, it’s no surprise to learn that they have joined the 2007 U.S. team to compete in the prestigious Fed Cup championship, the world’s largest annual international team competition for women with 89 countries competing this year.
However, what is history in the making is the USTA announcement that Zina Garrison will continue as captain of the U.S. Fed Cup Team. Garrison is the 18th U.S. Fed Cup captain since the competition began in 1963 and the first African-American captain in the competition’s history.
“I am honored to continue as captain of the U.S. Fed Cup team,” said Garrison in an article. “I expect our top players to be back in form next year and we now have a strong group of young women who are eager to continue what they started this year. Together we share one singular purpose — winning the Fed Cup in 2007.”
Garrison debuted as the U.S. Fed Cup captain in 2003, succeeding Billie Jean King, and has posted a 3-3 record as captain, reaching the semifinals the last two years.
As a player, Garrison competed for the United States in Fed Cup for 8 years (1984-1987, 1989-1991, 1994) posting a 22-5 record (7-4 singles, 15-1 doubles) in 23 ties.
According to recent national study conducted for USTA (United States Tennis Association), more African Americans are participating in tennis. African Americans comprise 13 percent of all new tennis players and eight percent of frequent players (played more than 21 times in the past year), up from six percent who were reported as frequent players in the 2002 study.
This is perhaps is in response to more representation of African Americans, such as Garrison, in leadership positions in tennis.
In addition, another USTA historic development was made this year. Rose Hobson was officially elected President of the Mid-Atlantic Section (MAS) for 2007-2008 at the Annual meeting of its Board of Directors.
She is the first African American female president of any section in the history of the USTA. “I challenge you to have fun and do more to grow this game,” she exhorted the crowd at the Fairview Park Marriott in the Washington metro area, where elections were held. “We are one family, and we must raise the respect of the Mid-Atlantic Section through our collective efforts.”
Hobson, who has served as a USTA volunteer at the District, Section and national levels, succeeds Gordon Mikkelson, who will become the Maryland delegate on the incoming Board.
Born in Detroit, MI, Hobson was raised in Charleston, WV, where she attended Morris Harvey College before starting her family. However, it was not until 1983 that Hobson, who had by then moved to the Washington metropolitan area, became serious about her tennis on a court in Anacostia Park.
Since then, the energetic and enthusiastic Hobson has been an integral part of the growth of MAS tennis leagues and programs. For the past 22 years, she has worked tirelessly with the Washington Tennis Association (WTA) and MAS.
She served as WTA President for 13 years and has been League Coordinator for the Washington Area Tennis League (WATL) since 1988, in which she competes as a member of the “Just Us 4.0 Women.” She has also served on the MAS Leagues Committee.
In addition to her nearly full-time tennis volunteer career, Hobson has been a star performer for the past 34 years at the FBI, where she serves as FBI Communication Security Program Manager.
ABOUT THE USTA/MAS
The USTA/Mid-Atlantic Section is a not-for-profit organization and one of 17 recognized sections of the United States Tennis Association (USTA). USTA/Mid-Atlantic Section encompasses the Commonwealth of Virginia, the state of Maryland, portions of the state of West Virginia, and the District of Columbia.
USTA/MAS offers a wide range of programs and activities that enable thousands of Mid-Atlantic residents, of all ages and abilities, to try, learn and play tennis. These activities underscore the fact that tennis, with its many health and fitness benefits, is the sport for a lifetime.
The USTA, the national governing body for the sport of tennis in the United States, owns and operates the U.S. Open and selects and supports the teams that represent the United States in the Davis Cup, Fed Cup and the Olympic and Para Olympic Games. USTA reports more than 700,000 members nationwide, more than 34,000 of whom reside in the Mid-Atlantic Section.
NOTE: For more information, log on to www.midatlantic.usta.com