IRT Tournament Directors need experience, enthusiasm, fundraising ability, and a camaraderie with other players to host top-tier pro stops, and that’s the kind of energy that can grow our sport nationally. Join us in supporting the people who help filled the courts at local clubs, so they can build that growth nationally as the newest members on the USA Racquetball board.
Dan Whitley has made a career in racquetball, playing and coaching college racquetball before earning an MBA and serving as the general manager for a thriving racquetball club in St. Louis, MO and also as Director of the Missouri High School Racquetball Association (MOHSRA) since 2002 and President of the MO Racquetball Board since 2004. Coaching a team of 50 high school girls and with over 500 kids in Association while also running hundreds of summer camps and tournaments while tweaking proven programs to retain and grow the number of racquetball players, Whitley has his hand on the pulse of the future of the sport. Whitley made racquetball history with the first-ever event that married the largest junior tournament in the world and longest running high school tournament in MOHSRA to the annual St. Louis Tier 1 tournament. He’s not content, and wants to help racquetball take the next step forward for greater recognition and financial stability. Wouldn’t you like to bring his experience to all of the states?
Together Meredith Gilbert and Jonathan Clay brought the Ladies Pro Racquetball Tour (LPRT) and men’s pro International Racquetball Tour (IRT) to New Jersey and New York this 2015-2016 IRT season. By working with the New York Racquetball Association’s VP for the last five years and helping Rollout Event Group organize, plan, and run top-tier jam-packed tournaments while also growing a team of Pro Kennex players, Gilbert has demonstrated the hands-on experience that benefits amateurs, pros, manufacturers, and fans to help take the sport to the next level.
Also owner of racquetball clothing company, Rollout, Clay claims business, player, and tournament director perspective to inspire cross-platform thinking and bringing racquetball up to the rest of the sports industry with “younger and fresher ideas” and a “passion and drive for the sport making [him] a great fit for the board.”
Past USAR President Cheryl Kirk brings extensive experience (Team Leader, US Team/US Junior Team; Chair, USAR Legislative Committee; Member, USAR US Team Committee; Executive Board member, IRF/PARC; Vice President, ISRA (tournament director/newsletter editor); Contributor to Racquetball magazine; Past President, USA Racquetball, 2008-2012) and recognition that we are at a pivotal time requiring leaders who “can take lessons from the past and innovations of the present and apply them toward future success.” She’s seen how “special interests abound in racquetball, and sometimes it appears that too many are out for their own gain while still maintaining that they are working for the good of the sport. With due respect for those points of view, pulling together will be critical if we wish to protect racquetball for future generations.”
We all would like to see more participation on every level, and that’s why we’re supporting people who are bringing the kind of business acumen around the courts to fill them with large amateur draws, pro players, and businesses to everyone’s benefit.