NEWPORT, RI – The International Tennis Hall of Fame has announced that Nancy P. Jeffett, President and Trustee of the Maureen Connolly Brinker Tennis Foundation, is the 2007 recipient of the prestigious Golden Achievement Award. The Golden Achievement Award is given by the International Tennis Hall of Fame and presented annually on a worldwide basis to individuals who have made important contributions to tennis in the fields of administration, promotion or education, and have devoted long and outstanding service to the sport.
Presentation of this year’s Golden Achievement Award will be made on September 29 at the Dallas Country Club in Dallas, Texas, the site of the 33rd annual Maureen Connolly Challenge Trophy event to be held September 27-29. Sir James Harvie-Watt, Chairman of the Hall of Fame’s International Council and member of the Executive Committee, along with Tony Trabert, President of the International Tennis Hall of Fame and 1970 Hall of Famer, will be in Dallas to present the Golden Achievement Award to Jeffett.
Nancy Pearce Jeffett is considered one of the most influential women in the sport of tennis. Born in 1928 and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, Jeffett was a junior tennis champion with a USTA Girls 18s ranking of No. 10. Tennis would always be a focal part of her life, and in 1956 she moved with her husband to Texas and assumed a leadership role in the tennis community while raising her two children. Jeffett is most noted for teaming with Grand Slam champion Maureen ‘Little Mo’ Connolly in 1968 to establish a tennis foundation, The Maureen Connolly Brinker Tennis Foundation. Four years later, Jeffett assumed full responsibility for the foundation following the untimely death of her friend from cancer. Over the next 30 years Jeffett developed an organization that today inspires youth tennis, sponsors a dozen major tournaments and has contributed more than $4 million to player development – from tennis programs in public parks to professional tournaments. This year, The Maureen Connolly Brinker Tennis Foundation celebrates its 40th anniversary.
Honored worldwide, Jeffett founded numerous national and international competitions including the Maureen Connolly Brinker (MCB) Girls’ 14 national championships (1972 – present); the Maureen Connolly Challenge Trophy (U.S. vs. Great Britain, ladies 16 and under; 1973 – present); the Virginia Slims Tournament of Dallas (1975-1989; began as MCB Memorial Tournament in 1970); the ITF Connolly Continental Cup (U.S. vs. all nations, ladies 18 and under; 1976 – present); Bonne Bell Maureen Connolly Brinker Cup (U.S. vs. Australia, ladies 14, 16, 18; 1977-1991); and the ITF Maureen Connolly Cup (U.S. vs. all national, ladies 55 and over – 1992 – present). Jeffett over the years has actively been involved as a member of the United States Tennis Association (USTA) Executive Committee 1973-1994, was chairwoman of the Wightman Cup 1978-1990 and chairwoman of the Federation Cup 1981-1990, and was a member of the ITF Federation Cup Committee 1988-1996. She is also a Life Trustee of the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
Jeffett is a past recipient of the prestigious USTA Service Bowl (1970) and has also won numerous ‘Service to Tennis’ awards including the World Championship Tennis award (1983); the Chuck McKinley award (1993); the International Tennis Federation award (1994); and the Virginia Slims award (1996). She was also the USTA’s Samuel Hardy Award recipient in 1992. In Dallas, the Dallas Tennis Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Jeffett in 1995, and renamed in her honor. Jeffett was inducted into the Texas Tennis Hall of Fame in 1983 and the St. Louis Tennis Hall of Fame in 1999. She is also an Honorary Member of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club (Wimbledon) having been elected for her services to international tennis.
Past recipients of the Golden Achievement Award are: Brian Tobin of Australia (1999); Gil de Kermadec of France (2000); Pablo Llorens Re?? of Spain (2001); Enrique Morea of Argentina (2002); J. Howard “Bumpy” Frazer of the United States (2003); John Curry of Great Britain (2004); Eiichi Kawatei of Japan (2005); and the late James R. Cochrane of Great Britain (2006).
Nominations for the Golden Achievement Award are submitted by tennis federations from around the world, and then voted on by the Golden Achievement Award Selection Committee. For more information, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit us online at www.tennisfame.com.
Kat Anderson, International Tennis Hall of Fame, 401-849-3990, email@example.com
Carol Weyman, Maureen Connolly Brinker Tennis Foundation, 214-352-7978, Cartennis@aol.com