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League News: ALTA Sportsmanship Awards

Steeplechase Team, Senior Day Women C1. Captains: Sally Campbell and Sally York.
Steeplechase Team, Senior Day Women C1. Captains: Sally Campbell and Sally York.

By Rita Maloof, ALTA First Vice President

Spring showers bring May flowers…and spring breaks…and vacations…and holidays…and is usually considered the most challenging season for a captain or team manager to navigate. Patience, flexibility, thoughtfulness, and timely communication from all teams and players are most appreciated. Our spring 2024 ALTA Sportsmanship Award recipients displayed all the above and more!

It’s easy to recognize extraordinary behavior, but there’s only a small few who will take the extra step and act on what they witnessed. Thank you for taking the time to bring outstanding acts of sportsmanship to our attention.

Nominations can be made at any time and are reviewed seasonally. Award winners receive a letter from the ALTA president, a sportsmanship bag tag, and are recognized in Net News.

Hillbrooke Team
Sunday Women A2
Captain: Amy Cummins
Nominated by: Heather Cotton, Kimball Farms
I am writing to nominate the Hillbrooke Sunday Women A2 team for the ALTA Sportsmanship Award. Their exemplary display of empathy, understanding, and cooperation during a challenging time speaks volumes about the spirit of sportsmanship that permeates their team. On Monday April 15, tragedy struck our team when we lost one of our beloved players, Shoan Finch, to cancer. As her funeral coincided with a regularly scheduled match, most of our team understandably needed to pay our respects and honor her memory. This left us in a predicament as we wouldn’t be able to fulfill our obligations for the match unless we rescheduled.

Upon explaining our situation to the Hillbrooke team captain and members, they demonstrated an extraordinary level of understanding and compassion. Without hesitation, they agreed to accommodate our request to play the matches earlier, allowing us the opportunity to attend the funeral without forfeiting our commitment to the league. Their willingness to adjust their schedules and accommodate our needs during such a difficult time was truly touching and deeply appreciated by our entire team. Their thoughtfulness and empathy during our time of grief were incredibly meaningful and served as a source of comfort and solace for our team. Hillbrooke’s actions not only reflect positively on their team but also embody the values of integrity, empathy, and mutual respect that are at the heart of ALTA. Therefore, it is with great pleasure that I nominate them for the ALTA Sportsmanship Award.

Kensington Farms Team
Senior Mixed C1
Captain: Ivey Giovannielli
Nominated by: Lynn Lee, ALTA Coordinator
At the winter Senior Mixed City Finals (Kensington vs Kingsley C1), one of the Kingsley ladies was running late and on the phone with Captain Scott Perkins trying to get to Harrison Tennis Center by match time. The discussion began about whether to allow a late start or move another player up to line one mixed doubles. That would leave the line three mixed doubles without a female player. As soon as Kensington Farms heard this, Michael Curtis (line one mixed doubles player) said “We don’t want to win by default.” It was decided to give the Kingsley player the extra minutes before moving anyone. I sent Scott to the parking lot to intercept her and get her moving to the court as soon as she drove in and he would park her car. Sure enough, she arrived just a few minutes past 10 a.m., and I saw her running all the way from the hill up top to the bottom courts where we were — hair flying, tennis bag contents dropping out — it was quite a sight. This could have easily caused a default for Kingsley and resulted in a loss. I admire the sportsmanship of Kensington Farms team’s support/agreement with Michael to not win by default but on the courts. This was probably the most pleasant City Finals I have worked in my 22+ years as an ALTA volunteer, and BOTH teams showed how a dual meet is supposed to be played.

Steeplechase Team
Senior Day Women C1
Captains: Sally Campbell, Sally York
Nominated by: Joyce Smosny, Hebron Christian
I would like to nominate Captains Sally Campbell and Sally York of the Steeplechase Senior Women’s C1 team for a Sportsmanship Award. During the course of our texting to arrange the match, they found out our co-captain, Gail Tucker, was battling breast cancer. When we got to their courts this morning, the Steeplechase ladies were all wearing pink in honor of Gail and had made a flower wreath for her. Such a thoughtful team! I am attaching a picture we took of their team. Thanks for your consideration.

TPC Sugarloaf
Sunday Women A5
Captain: Cortez Barillari
Nominated by: Becky Dent Robinson, Windermere
During a match against TPC@Sugarloaf at their venue, one of our players, Nancy, suffered a hamstring injury after a fall on the court. Nancy was understandably upset and in constant pain. Players from both teams rushed to her aid with even a doctor from TPC offering assistance. TPC arranged for a golf cart to carry Nancy off the court and to a vehicle. Nancy was promptly taken to the ER for treatment. Throughout this ordeal, Cortez, the captain of TPC, maintained regular communications expressing genuine concern for Nancy’s well-being. That week, Nancy received a stunning bouquet of flowers from TPC@Sugarloaf, a gesture that deeply touched her and lifted her spirits. This was the most exemplary demonstration of compassion and sportsmanship that I have witnessed during my extensive years of ALTA play. The actions of TPC@Sugarloaf and their captain, Cortez, deserve sincere recognition.

Sunday Women A8
Player: Kimberly De Fino
Nominated by: Pam Alexander, Hampton Hall
Our team found itself without home courts available for the season as our facility, Hampton Hall Swim & Tennis Club, was under construction due to Dekalb County’s sewer repair work. After reaching out to several facilities both public and private, Kim De Fino reported back that Georgetown would make room for us to host our home matches there. They also provided two practice courts one night a week. It was so gracious of them to allow us to use their facility for the season! Kim was always available and quick to respond to questions/inquiries. In fact, when I asked if it was possible to start a match earlier in the day than usual, she promptly responded from her honeymoon in Greece! Thank you, Georgetown and Kim De Fino, for allowing us to enjoy another season of ALTA tennis!

Honorable Mentions:
Amanda Shailendra, Piedmont Driving Club
Augie Dovico, Seven Oaks
Brian Cornelison, Vickery
Cathy Lepik, Sharon Lester Tennis Center
Courtney Joiner, Dunwoody Country Club
Debbie Carson, Echo Mill II
Diana Powell, Traditions of Braselton
Florastine Webster, Wynbrooke
Jaimie Chatlos, Coventry Green
Kimberly Chastain, Buford City Park
Laura Baker & Lexi, Sandy Springs Tennis Center
Martha Lynn Mitchell, Newnan Country Club
Scott Carroll/Dean Ditmar, Creekstone Estates

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