Tennis Tuesday is a content series curated by the New York Empire that will feature some of the game’s greats and New York’s finest tennis coaches, administrators, and fans. This week, we chat with Delaine Mast, the longtime WTT Recreational National Director.
1. Tell us about how you got started working in the sport of tennis.
I got started playing tennis when my middle school boy’s basketball coach asked me if I wanted to learn to play! We didn’t have girls basketball in my middle school, so I played on the boys team and he was my coach! Ironically, I played 4 sports all through high school and wanted to play basketball for the University of Tennessee Volunteers and Pat Summitt. While my offense was really good, my defense was not! I walked on the tennis team and have been with tennis ever since! I was a good student and combined with tennis, I received my degree in Education in 1983. I spent my summers teaching tennis for Washington Tennis Services at various clubs around the country and after graduation, WTS placed me at a Sports Complex in Lancaster, PA as the Facilities Director and that is where I met Billie Jean King.
2. You run World TeamTennis’ Recreational League. Tell us more about the League and all it offers its players.
For more than 30 years, WTT Recreational Leagues have been played in more than 1,000 cities across the nation have been helping more than 1 million tennis players of all ages, abilities and experience is one of the more exciting formats in our great sport. Our goal has always been to empower the local league director, as they play a major role in helping introduce players to the WTT format and our special brand of tennis.
Our mission when we founded the WTT Recreational League in 1985 is still very much at the forefront of everything we do today. World TeamTennis is dedicated to promoting tennis as a sport for everyone and anyone by tapping the fun, competitive, social and entertaining spirit that comes from being part of a team.
3. How have you seen the sport of tennis benefit your own community?
Tennis has helped to strengthen my community. Combining tennis and education truly changes lives! Tennis teaches you life skills! Tennis builds character and confidence and teaches lifetime skills through a lifetime sport. If you want to read some pretty powerful stories, click here.
4. Tell us about the “Delaine Mast Award.”
Billie Jean King and Mylan World TeamTennis established the “Delaine Mast Award” in the year 2000 for Community Tennis Associations run by volunteer boards of men and women. These associations contribute to the growth of tennis and Mylan WTT and take a leading role in their local tennis community.
5. What other tennis initiatives are you involved with?
I’m also the founder and executive director of the Junior Tennis Corporation of America, a non-profit organization that raises money to provide free tennis lessons to more than 10,000 youth in 14 cities across the country.