Tennis is a lifetime sport, and there may be no one who displays that better than Connie Ebert. Adding together her years of service, volunteering and playing, she’s proven herself as one of the most dedicated and impactful individuals the sport has ever seen.
Ebert, from Abington, Pa., will be honored for her impact on tennis when she receives the USTA Seniors’ Service Award on Saturday at the USTA Annual Meeting & Conference. The award is presented each year to one of the nation’s most valuable and respected tennis volunteers or players who has advanced the game for seniors.
Ebert, 90, first learned to play tennis in the 1950s at a YMCA adult tennis camp. Her career in volunteering began when she started recruiting and training ball boys for the U.S. Pro Indoor men’s tennis tournament in Philadelphia. She was involved with that tournament for more than 25 years.
Ebert joined the board of the USTA Middle States Philadelphia Area Tennis District (PATD) in the 1960s and has held numerous additional volunteer positions since. She’s been involved with Middle States for nearly 50 years.
As a player, Ebert was on the Friendship Cup team in 2000 (Austria) and 2002 (Japan) and has often been ranked in the top-10 of her age bracket. In 2005 she earned a No. 6 ranking at the national level in the 85 singles division.
Ebert was one of the first tournament directors to offer a tournament for players older than 40, and she has continued to run the Betty Coats Tournament at Manufacturer’s County Club, which she most recently ran this past summer. She’s been an Interdistrict and Intersectional coordinator for many years, and has played and organized matches in the Women’s Inter-Club of Philadelphia for decades.
“I really can’t explain it,” she said. “I’ve been doing it for such a long time that it feels normal now. Tennis will always be a part of who I am.”