News Release
03 May 2013
For Immediate Release

Hilton Head Island, SC – – Professional Tennis Registry (PTR) presented its annual awards last night during the 2013 PTR International Tennis Symposium. The event, which includes 50-plus on court and classroom presentations for tennis teachers and coaches, a trade show and tournament, is being held May 2-5 at the new Sonesta Resort on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.

Richard Spurling, of Los Angeles, California, has been named PTR Humanitarian of the Year.

Born in Sweden, Spurling was recruited to play tennis at Florida Atlantic University. He started teaching at Rick Macci’s Tennis Academy, and worked at clubs in Florida and Massachusetts. He is currently at Breamar County Club in Tarzana, California.

In 2008, Spurling and his wife, Dr. Shafali Jeste, a pediatric neurologist then practicing at Children’s Hospital Boston, founded ACEing Autism. They saw an opportunity to help address the lack of quality recreational programs available to children on the autism spectrum by combining their professional expertise and personal passion.

The mission of ACEing Autism is to make tennis available to children with autism and to use tennis as a means to enhance health and fitness, increase hand-eye coordination and motor development, and improve the social skills of children with autism.

ACEing Autism’s tagline is “connecting kids through tennis.” Tennis provides many meaningful opportunities to enrich the development of children, especially those on the autism spectrum. At the very heart, tennis a social game, furnishing a natural opportunity to develop and reinforce skills that many children on the spectrum find a struggle. Tennis has an innate give and take rhythm that encourages turn taking, eye contact, focus and attention, fine and gross motor skills, etc. Nearly all the skills that a multitude of teachers and therapists spend all week isolating and working with autistic children on can be practiced and applied in one 45 minute tennis clinic.

ACEing Autism programs are offered in 20 locations in six states and serve 300 children every week. ACEing Autism is growing, with plans to add five additional sites this year.

As the recipient of the PTR Humanitarian Award, Spurling receives a $2,500 check from PTR Foundation Chairman, Scott Tharp, to continue his work with ACEing Autism. PTR Foundation is the charitable arm of Professional Tennis Registry.

PTR is the largest global organization of tennis teaching professionals with more than 14,000 members in 117 countries. It has the greatest percentage of multicultural and women members of any such organization. PTR is dedicated to educating, certifying and servicing tennis teachers and coaches around the world in order to grow the game.

(30)Contact: • PO Box 4739, Hilton Head Island, SC 29938 USA
843-785-7244 or 800-421-6289 • fax 843-686-2033 • •