Hilton Head Island, SC — Professional Tennis Registry (PTR) announced today that it will recognize ACE Heroes. For the next year, every week the organization will honor a PTR tennis coach of color who has made or is making a positive impact in their community and the game.
The ACE Program was the vision of PTR CEO, Dan Santourm in 1994. He saw a need to invite more coaches of color to learn to teach tennis. ACE provided coach education workshops in predominantly non-white areas. “Black History Month is winding down,” said Santorum, “and Asian Pacific Heritage and Hispanic Heritage Months are ahead, so PTR will keep ACE Heroes in focus throughout the year by recognizing coaches of color who make a world of difference.”
It’s appropriate that the first ACE Hero is Arthur Ashe. When PTR established ACE to advance coach education in underserved communities, Ashe stepped up to be the program’s first spokesperson. He also insisted that ACE coaches not only get educated, but get PTR certified, thus elevating the status of coaches of color, as well as forever changing the complexion of PTR and our game.
A Grand Slam winner, co-founder of NJTL, and an inductee to several Halls of Fame, Ashe may be best known for his fight for social justice and equality. PTR is humbled that Ashe was a longtime member and friend of the organization and is proud to honor his as our First ACE Hero.
PTR is the largest global organization of tennis teaching professionals with more than 16,400 members in 125 countries. It has the greatest percentage of multicultural and women members of any such organization. PTR is dedicated to educating, certifying and serving tennis teachers and coaches around the world in order to grow the game.