Former Wiltonian Gillespie to be inducted into Platform Tennis Hall of Fame
Former Wilton resident Mike Gillespie was recently voted into the Platform Tennis Hall of Fame by the American Platform Tennis Association (APTA).
Gillespie, now the director of platform tennis at Indian Trail Club in Franklin Lakes, N.J., held the same title at the New Canaan Field Club from 1998 to 2010.
He will join Chicagoan Chris Gambino and Barbara ‘Bobo’ Delaney of Chatham, N.J., as this year’s honorees. Gillespie and Gambino will be inducted on March 4 at this year’s APTA Nationals in Darien, while Delaney will be honored in a separate ceremony in Short Hills on Feb. 5.
According to the APTA website, “Induction into the Platform Tennis Hall of Fame is the highest award that can be earned in platform tennis. It is presented to individuals who have achieved distinction in the play of platform tennis and/or who have otherwise contributed to the growth, development, and administration of the game. Recipients have also demonstrated a high level of integrity, sportsmanship, and consideration for others and thus earned the respect and admiration that they deserve for their endeavors in platform tennis.”
Gillespie is being recognized for three decades’ worth of contributions to the sport as both a top player and teacher, earning the reputation of a fierce but humble competitor and becoming one of the true ambassadors of the sport. He has created an indelible imprint on the future of the game, particularly through his efforts to establish the Professional Platform Tennis Association (PPTA) certification process and in building a solid foundation of junior communities throughout the Northeast.
Gillespie was introduced to the sport at an early age and made his mark by winning three junior national titles. He worked under APTA Hall of Famer Hank Irvine for seven years, learning how to play the game at the highest level while also learning how to provide the level of leadership that would continue to grow the game.
“Mike has been a longstanding contributor to the sport of platform tennis,” said Steve Baird, chairman of the APTA’s Hall of Fame committee. “He’s provided valuable input to standardize the evaluation and certification of pros and has now certified and mentored more than 100 high-profile platform tennis professionals. Teaching professionals who are certified by him develop a long-lasting friendship with ‘Mike the Mentor,’ who embraces the entire certification process while always maintaining its integrity and professionalism.”
In addition to his three national junior championships, Gillespie also owns a mixed national championship with Gerri Viant (1989) and senior national championships in the 45s (2011) and 50s (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015). He was a men’s national runner-up in 1992, 1994, and 2002.