In 2012, the New Providence Tennis Association (NPTA) challenged the neighboring Summit Tennis Association (STA) to a tournament to see which town would triumph. With very little disagreement between the contenders, the tournament became known as the Walther Cup, in honor of long-time Summit resident, Dick Walther.

Coach Dick, as he is fondly called, has been instrumental in growing the membership of the STA, and mentored the NPTA in the early stages of their existence. Aside from helping the two organizations develop and grow, Dick helped nurture the tennis friendship between the two towns that will be the foundation for years to come.

At first glance, one might think the relationship between the two tennis associations is focused on this spirited event, but the friendship between the two is much broader and very cooperative. Some events, like leagues and tournaments, are scheduled so that players are able to take part both town’s activities. Many programs utilize trained high school varsity players as coaches and both associations can draw on the pool of coaches/mentors for their needs. As a result of these cooperative efforts there is a larger inventory of players, courts, volunteers, and choices of events, programs, and schedules.

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As for this year’s tournament, the event was very close with the lead changing repeatedly in the final event. In the end, it was won by the NPTA for the very first time by a score of 19-16. The trophy will be held by the NPTA in the New Providence Recreation Department until next year, when the two tennis associations will battle again.

For more information, visit www.newprovtennis.org or www.statennis.com