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Aaron Lapkin and Rene Williams Win ITA Awards

February 23, 2010 05:57 AM

Nikos Ridle Award
Aaron Lapkin - Cheyenne, Wyoming
Presented by Dave Boon

This award is given annually to a junior tennis player within the Intermountain Section who exemplifies the spirit of tennis through their activities on and off the court.  The award is given in memory of Nikos Ridle, a nationally ranked junior player from Billings, Montana, who was killed in an automobile accident at age 19.  Section winners are submitted to the USTA for the Bill Talbert Junior Sportsmanship Award.

Aaron is a Junior high school student residing in Cheyenne, Wyoming. He set a goal three years ago to win four consecutive Wyoming State High School Tennis Championships and before this year, he won that title two years in a row (Freshman and Sophomore year). This year, as a junior, he battled physical injuries that threatened to sideline him. However, he was able to play #1 singles and won his third straight State High School Tennis Championship without dropping a set.

With his positive attitude and enthusiasm, Aaron has attracted many other teens into the game. He volunteers at the Boys and Girls Club, a local junior high school, and at several QuickStart tennis events. While maintaining a high GPA in the International Baccalaureate Program at school, he plays in both District and Intermountain events. Aaron’s intense passion for tennis, and for getting others excited about the game, make him an asset to the USTA Wyoming District and the USTA Intermountain Section.


Aaron Lapkin and Presenter, Dave Boon. 


Jan Dowse Volunteer of the Year Award
Rene Williams - Laramie, Wyoming
Presented by Julie Francis

This award is named after the late Utah Tennis Association Executive Director and is awarded to Intermountain’s Volunteer of the Year to recognize his or her outstanding contributions, personal unselfishness and devotion to the game. Jan Dowse served the Utah and Intermountain tennis community for more than two decades and her contributions to the sport she loved are too numerous to count.

Rene is the kind of President every Community Tennis Association desires. She is energetic, visionary and willing to put in the time and work necessary to bring the vision to fruition. With Rene at the helm, her tennis association applied for and received 501c3 non-profit corporation status, a USTA Design Concept Grant, and a development grant. Working with the City of Laramie Parks and Recreation Department as consultants, her community association was able to improve and expand tennis programming for the area. Summer programming went from nothing to six hours of clinics and on-court instruction four days a week for children and adults. This fall there was a waiting list for QuickStart Programs which will take place at indoor volleyball courts and local elementary schools.

Rene’s other accomplishments include designing a web site for the Alpine Tennis Association, coordinating Sunday night tennis, expanding the junior program, designing tennis programs, and preparing the budget and schedule for summer tennis. Her husband and three sons are the reason she started playing tennis in 2006. She plays in tournaments and on USTA League teams and flex leagues.