O’Brien Honored with APTA Service Award

MAY 24, 2011

2011 APTA Service Award PresentationBill O’Brien - Coach, Captain, Advocate

Given the passion that platform tennis provokes, it’s not uncommon to find volunteers who promote our sport. What is remarkable about Bill O’Brien of Hinsdale, IL, is that he has spent more than 20 years helping to grow our game. At this year’s annual meeting, O’Brien received the prestigious 2010-11 APTA Service Award for his initiatives and leadership in the Chicago area.  O’Brien has been a tireless advocate for our sport and a vital member of the APTA Board of Directors.

APTA President Tim McAvoy's Presentation Speech
May 6, 2011

The purpose of the Service Award:

The Service Award honors volunteerism - the devotion of one’s time and talents to the furtherance of platform tennis. (as defined in the APTA Mission statement)

More specifically, there are certain aspects of volunteerism that the APTA especially want to recognize when considering candidates for the Award:

(1) Volunteerism without any expectation of a personal return - e.g., pure giving versus doing something that might advance one’s business or standing in the community

(2) Efforts that are transformative - i.e., efforts that create new potential or bring substantive change to the sport or within a geography versus just devoting a lot of time to managing and executing what already exists.

(3) Efforts that have a sustained impact over a period of years versus results that are short lived or which plateau out quickly.

Nominations come from:

Any APTA member willing to make a case in writing as to why they think someone is worthy of the Award. In addition, each year, Region Presidents are asked if they have any candidates worthy of this award.

How many Service Awards would be granted each year?


Who would review the nominations and make the selection:

A committee of 3 APTA Board Members make the recommendation to the Board for a full Board vote.

2010/11 APTA Service Award Winner

Our honoree has devoted almost 20 years to growing platform tennis in Hinsdale, IL and the Chicago area. In Hindsdale, he has:

1. Coached a group of 20-40 players every Saturday night for close to 20 years.
2. Been team captain for league matches, while not even playing on the team for a few years
3. Grown the sport to 16 courts, 400 interclub players and over 1,000 players in total (in a town of 18,000)
4. Served as President of the Hindsdale PT Association and raised over $340,000 in private fund raising for municipal paddle.

From a broader perspective, our Service Award winner and Alan Graham, HOF member, have been the key drivers to help grow the game in Chicago and run National events—including Co-Chair of the ’06 Nationals. The Chicago interclub league has tripled under their leadership to over 4,000 league members.

Mark Fischl was the first Annual Service Award winner. Now, please join me in welcoming the second American Platform Tennis Association Service Award honoree - Bill O’Brien.

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