Thursday November 21, 2013
Jake Agna, founder and coach of Kids on the Ball Tennis, was presented with the Recreation Professional of the Year Award by the Vermont Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (VTAHPERD) at a ceremony in Stowe, Vermont. Jake was nominated for this award by Tammy Charbonneau, Physical Education teacher at Champlain Elementary School in Burlington. Jake is a long time resident and active member of the South Burlington community.
For thirty years Jake Agna has taught thousands of young Vermonters to love the game of tennis. In addition to running the Junior Development tennis program at The Edge in South Burlington for the past 28 years, Jake also has coached the South Burlington High School girls’ tennis team since 1983, leading them to 15 state championships. For the past six years, Jake has also provided tennis as an enrichment opportunity for students in the Progressive Program at South Burlington High School.
Thirteen years ago Agna created Kids on the Ball as a way to integrate Burlington’s underprivileged youth from the King Street Center into his highly successful junior development tennis program at the private clubs. The program began in 2000 with 20 students and now includes after-school, in-school, and Summer in the Park tennis programs for more than 1400 youngsters from across the city. Kids on the Ball is now part of each elementary school’s physical education curriculum in Burlington.
Awards for Jake’s efforts include the prestigious USTA Eve Craft Community Service Award, the USTA New England NJTL Chapter of the Year Award, The Pizzagalli Prize, The Ralph Lapointe Award, and the Vermont Lake Monsters Community Sports Hall of Fame award.