USPTA Receives Award of Distinction for Feature Article

June 2, 2009

The United States Professional Tennis Association received an award of distinction in the 2009 Communicator Awards competition. The winning entry was a feature article published in the August 2008 issue of ADDvantage magazine titled “Racquet-wielding mayor takes swing at obesity.”

The article tells how Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett took a bold approach to battling obesity and trying to trim his hometown’s name off national fattest-city lists. Cornett lost weight and increased his own fitness level with tennis, then challenged all citizens to raise their health awareness and lose a collective 1 million pounds.

The mayor, who lost 42 pounds in 10 months by cutting calories and playing tennis, started a Web site,, to help others follow suit. The Web site, now in its second year, offers nutrition, exercise and weight-loss information, along with real-life success stories. Registered participants can even log the number of pounds they have lost. The total has not yet reached the 1 million-pound target yet, but Oklahoma City residents and their online diet partners have dropped a recorded 364,574 pounds as of June 1. Participants have included USPTA Professional and Oklahoma City resident Gary Trost. Cornett showed support for his favorite sport by taking part in Trost’s 2008 Tennis Across America Clinic.

Jill Phipps, USPTA staff writer, authored the article for ADDvantage, which is published 11 times a year by the USPTA for men and women tennis-teaching professionals. It features messages and topics of interest from USPTA CEO Tim Heckler and board members, tips from tennis-teaching professionals, tennis drills, news on the latest events, member and division news, career development opportunities, player development inserts, articles on tennis teaching and much more.

The award of distinction recognizes projects that exceed industry standards in quality and excellence. With entries judged on a 10-point scale, distinction winners generally receive a score of 7.0 to 8.9 and excellence award winners receive a score of 9.0 or above.

With more than 7,000 entries from across the United States and around the world, the Communicator Awards is the leading international creative awards program honoring creative excellence for communications professionals. The Communicator Awards are judged and overseen by the International Academy of the Visual Arts, an invitation-only organization of leading professionals from various disciplines of the visual arts. Members of the IAVA include media, companies and firms such as Cond√® Nast, Disney, Estee Lauder, HBO,, MTV, Polo Ralph Lauren, Sotheby’s Institute of Art, Wired, Yahoo!, and many others.

The article can be viewed online by going to, clicking on “Feature articles” on the left-hand side, scrolling down to the bottom of the page that appears and entering “Racquet-wielding mayor” into the search field.