05 May 2013
For Immediate Release
Hilton Head Island, SC - - Professional Tennis Registry (PTR) presented its annual awards this week during the 2013 PTR International Tennis Symposium. The event, which includes 50-plus on court and classroom presentations for tennis teachers and coaches, a trade show and tournament, was held May 2-5 at the new Sonesta Resort on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.
Harlon Matthews, of McDonough, Georgia, has been named PTR Wheelchair Professional of the Year. This award is presented to a PTR wheelchair teaching professional who has demonstrated exceptional efforts to grow the sport of wheelchair tennis.
Matthews is a Therapeutic Recreation Specialist for Henry County Parks and Recreation. He is the Chair of the USTA Georgia Wheelchair Tennis Committee, and assisted in creation of Grand Prix Georgia Wheelchair Tennis Series, a tournament that received the 2012 USTA Georgia Wheelchair Event of the Year Award. He is the Tournament Director of The Geranium Festival, a wheelchair event in McDonough.
A PTR Wheelchair Tennis Clinician, Matthews is also a fierce competitor on the court. He is in the Top 10 USTA Wheelchair Men’s A division, and competes in USTA, ALTA and Visionary Tennis Leagues with and against able-bodied opponents.
In 2007, he was the first instructor using a wheelchair to serve an on court tennis teaching internship with Van Der Meer Tennis Academy on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.
Matthews is no stranger to accolades. In 2005, he was named USTA Georgia Wheelchair Player of Year, Georgia Professional Tennis Player of Year, and earned PTR’s Golden Eagle Award for contribution to the game. The following year, he was named USTA Southern Wheelchair Player of Year and PTR Wheelchair Professional of Year. He is the only person to receive the award twice.
In 2009, he was presented the PTR State Member of the Year Award for Georgia, and in 2010, Racquet Sports Industry magazine named Matthews its Wheelchair Champion of the Year.
Matthews has shown tremendous dedication to supporting the game and PTR. He readily conducts Instructing Wheelchair Tennis Workshops for aspiring pros, as well as play exhibition matches. He has been a presenter at PTR conferences and is a great advocate of the organization.
PTR is the largest global organization of tennis teaching professionals with more than 14,000 members in 117 countries. It has the greatest percentage of multicultural and women members of any such organization. PTR is dedicated to educating, certifying and servicing tennis teachers and coaches around the world in order to grow the game.