Louisville District Project Manager James Cruz is using his skills and talents as a tennis player to coach and mentor the team members of the Scottsburg High School girls’ tennis team in Scottsburg, Indiana. Cruz was awarded the Louisville District Third Quarter Volunteerism Award certificate presented to him by Louisville District Commander Col. Antoinette Gant Aug. 13, 2018.
Cruz has been volunteering as an assistant tennis coach for both boys and girls tennis teams since 2002 when he retired from the U.S. Navy. For the last three years, he has focused most of his coaching efforts on the Scottsburg High School girls’ tennis program as he would like to take over as the head coach upon his retirement from federal service.
Cruz’s team recently won their sectional title this year defeating the defending champion school, who held that honor for six years. Cruz has dedicated a lot of time and effort in leading the Scottsburg High School girls' tennis team to achieve victory and success emphasizing dedication, teamwork and perseverance.
“I coach because I want to expose our Scottsburg youth to a sport that I’ve greatly benefited from,” said Cruz. “Aside from its obvious fitness benefits, tennis has been a great networking tool for me.”
Throughout the fall and winter months, Cruz hosts open indoor courts for both the Scottsburg High School and Scottsburg Middle School girls tennis teams three days a week. During the girls spring season he attends daily tennis practices and on days the team has a tennis match he travels with the team to provide coaching. On average Cruz volunteers about 15 hours a week during the girls’ tennis season.
The Louisville District uses an outreach website to track volunteers like Cruz within the district. This site was created to encourage employees to develop opportunities and list them on the site for additional collaboration and to get others involved.