Our team

Martha Cuevas
Beth Morrison

2015 Recipients

Dr. Herman N. Nielson Award

First women to receive the honor. 
In 2015 Cuevas and Morrison received the Dr. Herman N. Nielsen Award. Given by the Peninsula Tennis Patrons Association (PTPA), a non-profit organization that runs tennis tournaments in the Hampton Roads Area, its awarded annually to those who help promote tennis on the peninsula.
Cuevas and Morrison received the award for their work with 10 and Under kids in their first year of coaching.

Hampton Roads Tennis Academy (HRTA) 

Founded in 2015 


Martha Cuevas and Beth Morrison.

Cuevas, a retired teaching assistant from Coventry Elementary School in Yorktown, VA, asked Morrison to take a coaching class with her at Achievable Dreams in March 2015. Harvey Robinson, Head Tennis Pro at Huntington Park Tennis Center, invited Martha to a

USTA training for 10 and Under tennis. Morrison accepted, and unbeknownst to the duo at the time, HRTA began. 

“I started coaching because of my love of tennis. I want to help grow the sport. I started helping Harvey with his red ball class. This motivated me to take the USTA training for 10 and under.” Cuevas said. 

Now beginning their 10th year of coaching, the partners realized the community’s need for the program. 

“As we started coaching different age groups, especially the older kids, it really became apparent that if we could get the kids interested at an early age, the skill level of kids going into high school and beyond would be so much better.”  

In their first year, they taught only kids 10 and under; by year two, they expanded to middle school kids. 

“Additional training through PTR ( Professional Tennis Registry) has also helped us feel more confident in teaching children and adults,” said Morrison. 

As of today, HRTA offers classes to people of all ages, from 5 to adults.​

In addition, the duo partners with the

York County Parks and Recreation Department in the winter. Classes run from January through February for school-age children. The coaches transform a local elementary school’s basketball court into indoor tennis courts with pickleball nets, allowing students to continue working on skills. Cuevas and Morrison teach weekly summer camps for the county during the summer. ​

“I really feel proud when our students master skills, and you can see their excitement. They continue lessons with us or improve enough that they move on to more advanced instructions,” said Cuevas. 

The partners work with other tennis coaches to promote opportunities available to the kids, not just what HRTA offers. As stated on its

website, the company’s mission explains why: “Our mission: Grow youth tennis on the Peninsula and beyond.”

“When can I play a match?” The kid’s favorite question to ask the coaches prompted them to offer match play. As of 2023, HRTA partnered with Kiln Creek to offer Spring and Fall tournaments for kids in the 10 and Under program and 11-17 program.

“The most important thing we want is our kids to have is fun! Tennis is a fun sport that can be played a lifetime, but if kids aren’t having fun, they won’t come back,” said Cuevas.

“The lesson is over already?” When the kids ask this question, the coaches know they accomplished their mission.