News Release
14 February 2018
For Immediate Release

Habtu Afework Belayneh Named PTR Humanitarian of the Year


Hilton Head Island, SC - - Professional Tennis Registry (PTR) presented its annual awards last night during the 2018 PTR International Tennis Symposium.  The event, which includes more than 40 educational presentations for tennis teachers and coaches, is underway through February 18, on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.

Habtu Afework Belayneh, of Boynton Beach, Florida, was named PTR Humanitarian of the Year.  Not every humanitarian can create a foundation or has one that supports their good work.  Not every humanitarian is visible during a disaster, like J.J. Watt.  Some live their lives every day as quiet humanitarians.  They do their good work without expectations for praise or awards.  Arthur Ashe said, “Start where you are.  Use what you have.  Do what you can.”  Afework does just that.  

Now a Director of Tennis at Tivoli Lakes in Florida, Afework has never forgotten his humble Ethiopian roots and does what he can to support deserving young people from his country.  And he does it through tennis.  

As the national team coach and technical head coach for the Ethiopian Tennis Federation (1984-93), Afework was able to start the summer camp for underprivileged children and year round junior development programs.  Dozens of kids were introduced to tennis through these programs, but Afework wanted them to have more.  He began looking for broader opportunities.  

He obtained scholarships at Van der Meer Tennis Academy for six to 12 players a year, and has helped players obtain college tennis scholarships.  As Afework had hoped, many are success stories; one is a lawyer; another is a bank vice president, another owns a 16 court tennis facility.  

He was also involved in building a home for the elderly in rural Ethiopia that proudly displays his name on the front door.  Beyond his home country, Afework serves his adopted country as well.  Afework supports Special Olympics with fundraisers at Tivoli Lakes, and he and his wife adopted her Down syndrome niece to be able to provide a better future for her in the United States.  

Afework received $2,500 from PTR Foundation to continue his quiet humanitarian efforts.

PTR is the largest global organization of tennis teaching professionals with more than 16,000 members in 125 countries.  It has the greatest percentage of multicultural and women members of any such organization.  PTR is dedicated to educating, certifying and serving tennis teachers and coaches around the world in order to grow the game.

 

(30)

Contact:  Peggy Edwards • PO Box 4739, Hilton Head Island, SC 29938 USA
843-785-7244 • fax 843-686-2033 • peggy@ptrtennis.org • www.ptrtennis.org