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All Things Kimsidered

Kim Clark
Kim Clark, Associate Director of Campus
Recreation, University of North Carolina -
Many know her as the fun-loving, tight-ship-running Director of Competition at the USTA National Campus Championship.  Others may be more familiar with her role on the USTA National Collegiate Committee or as the Associate Director of Campus Recreation at the University of North Carolina - Greensboro.  No matter what hat she is wearing, Kim Clark has Tennis On Campus on her mind, and she has been one of the most instrumental individuals in the early and continued success of the program.

Clark, in fact, was involved with the Tennis On Campus program before it even existed.  In 1997, she served on a NIRSA Tennis Task Force when the USTA and NIRSA first began partnership discussions.  An avid recreational tennis player, she proved to be a vital bridge between the two organizations in these early talks.  Since that time, Clark has served as a USTA-NIRSA Regional Representative for NIRSA Region VI (western U.S.), on the USTA National Collegiate Committee, and as the Director of Competition for the USTA National Campus Championship for the last five years.  In these unique positions, Clark has been able to see the program progress from the start.

"Wow, we've come a long way," she says.  "It has been very exciting to see this partnership that now includes four organizations (USTA, NIRSA, WTT, and ITA) come to fruition."

Speaking specifically to the partnership between the USTA and NIRSA, she notes, "[It] has been a great fit.  NIRSA serves as a liaison between the USTA and Campus Recreation departments while providing access to an unlimited number of college students through its institutional members, as well as a well-developed infrastructure and strong history of providing outstanding club and extramural championships through the National Campus Championship Series."

The USTA National Campus Championship is one of six elite events that make up the National Campus Championship Series.  The first USTA National Campus Championship, in 2000, featured 10 teams; this past year, the USTA National Campus Championship featured a record 64 teams.  In addition, there were 17 USTA Campus Championship - Section Events, numerous Tennis On Campus leagues, and many new clubs that join the fold every year.

While Clark has been a major player in this growth, she credits her colleagues for much of the success.  "The overall growth of these programs is attributed to the great vision of individuals such as Kent Blumenthal, NIRSA Executive Director, and Valerie McCutchan, NIRSA Director of National Sports Programs, as well as the many USTA staff and volunteers who are committed to growing tennis on college campuses," she says.  "Individuals from both organizations have worked tirelessly for the last 10-plus years to bring us to this level of success."

It is clear that Clark is similarly respected by her colleagues.

"As the Director of Competition for the USTA National Campus Championship, Kim has a unique passion for providing the best possible competitive experience for the student-athlete," says Glenn Arrington, USTA National Manager, Collegiate and Corporate Tennis.  "She is well liked by all of the players and is equally respected by her peers in the recreation field."

Blumenthal adds, "NIRSA and USTA are very lucky to have Kim as a member.  She brings her passion for tennis to her volunteer work for NIRSA on the USTA National Campus Championship and other Tennis On Campus projects.  NIRSA is fortunate to enjoy her tennis enthusiasm and expertise at all levels of the Tennis On Campus program as we offer it to our NIRSA members."

While it is clear Clark has made a dramatic impact on the Tennis On Campus program on a large scale, she is perhaps most appreciated at the grassroots level.  In her position at the University of North Carolina - Greensboro, she serves as the advisor for the club tennis team.  In just its third year, the club has taken major steps forward and will be competing in the inaugural season of the North Carolina Club Tennis League this fall.

"Kim has always worked very hard to help our club team," says Hank Sumner, president of the UNC - Greensboro club tennis team.  "She has been a great source for us and gives us the proper tools needed to help us grow."

Ever vigilant in her quest to continue growing and supporting the Tennis On Campus program, Clark offers these words to her peers in the recreational sports profession: "Try it.  You have nothing to lose and much to gain.  The amount of time, energy, and resources it takes to offer some version of this program is minimal."