NORWALK, Conn. -- As the founder and owner of Slammer Tennis World, Marvin Tyler has tied the success of his business to his commitment to community. Last month, Tyler extended his range by nearly 450 miles in showing commitment to his hometown in Virginia.
Tyler hosted the first annual tennis jamboree in Emporia, Va., where he lived until he was 11 years old. Tyler is the first certified tennis teaching professional from the Emporia/Greensville County area. He conducted the free tennis jamboree at the Greensville High School tennis courts.
Greensville Town Clerk Robert Wrenn supported Tyler's effort to host the jamboree, and Tyler volunteered his time to host the free event. The town also honored Tyler with a proclamation during the jamboree.
"This was something I've always wanted to do, and it meant the world to me,'' Tyler said. "Some people run away from their heritage. I'll always love the people from Emporia, Greensville county and southern Virginia. I feel blessed that I was able to go back and introduce the kids to the game of tennis."
Tyler moved from Virginia to Brooklyn to live with his aunt and uncle, Bettie and Anthony Johnson, when he was 11 years old. He has worked in lower Fairfield County for nearly two decades, first in Stamford before starting Slammer Tennis World in 2003.
Tyler offers private and group lessons for tennis players of all ages, and hosts clinics and camps throughout the year. He also hosts four USTA-sanctioned tennis tournaments in the spring and summer. He is the Director of Tennis for Norwalk, where he has worked with Mike Moccaie, Director of Recreation and Parks, to provide programs for tennis players of all ages and abilities.
During his time in Norwalk, Tyler has also dedicated himself to community causes. In 2014, the Professional Tennis Registry named Tyler the PTR Member of the Year for the state of Connecticut. The award is presented to the PTR member who has shown dedication and diligence in promoting and supporting tennis and the PTR. In 2008, Tyler's business received the USTA New England Community Tennis Association (CTA) of the year award.
Tyler's mother still lives in Virginia, along with some other family members and friends. He is closely identified now with Norwalk and Fairfield County, but a part of his heart remains rooted in Virginia and always will. The jamboree in Virginia drew good attention from the community, and the jamboree was featured in a story in the town's newspaper, the Emporia Independent-Messenger.
"I've been talking about hosting a jamboree down there for years,'' Tyler said. "I think it's important to give back to the community. That's always been an important part of what I do with tennis. To have the opportunity to return to Emporia and work with them was one of the most fulfilling experiences of my tennis career."
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