AKA Women Making Racquetball History Now!
We will feature another woman making racquetball history every Wednesday. Do you know someone else we should be celebrating with this interview and feature process? Drop us a line on Facebook!
Name: Cheryl Kirk
Are you a pro player, coach, association board member, tournament organizer, or racquetball broadcaster AKA why do racquetball players know you?
USA Racquetball (USAR) Board of Directors
– Secretary 2007-2008; President 2008-2012; Secretary 2016-present
– Chair, Legislative Committee
– Member, Executive Committee, US Team Committee, Fundraising Committee, Women’s Committee
US National Team Leader since 2012
US Junior National Team Leader since 2013
Staff Writer, US OPEN Media Staff since 2016
International Racquetball Federation (IRF) Board of Directors
– Secretary (2012-present)
– Co-Tournament Director, IRF World Junior Championships, November 2017 (Minneapolis)
Pan American Racquetball Confederation (PARC) Board of Directors
– Secretary (2012-present)
– Co-founder of The Tracks project for children in Guatemala (founded by Marie Gomar)
Illinois State Racquetball Association (ISRA) Board of Directors
– Tournament Director, ISRA State Singles Championships
– ISRA Courtside (eMagazine) editor since 2002
– Coordinator, Junior Team Illinois (JTI)
Member, Women’s Senior/Masters Racquetball Association (WSMRA)
Tournament Director, WSMRA Annual Championships, Chicago, 2017
Country of Origin: USA
Place you consider home: Naperville, Illinois
Have you ever been on your country’s national team?
Heck no! I’m a state A level player on a good day. But I like hanging out with the team members as their team leader.
When & how where you introduced to the competitive side of racquetball?
I was working at the Decatur (IL) YMCA as a swimming instructor and signed up for beginner lessons. There were some other women in the class to play with, and I kept going from there.
Playing hand: Right
Year you started playing racquetball: circa 1977
Favorite racquetball shot: Drive serve, either side
Motivation for the game (what keeps you playing): Fitness, friendship, competition.
Love most about racquetball: Doubles — teamwork!
Preferred equipment: I haven’t pursued sponsorship since I became president of USA Racquetball in 2008. Prior to that, I was a Regional Coordinator for Ektelon. Now I play with a Head Meanstreak, ProKennex gloves and backpack, Mizuno shoes, Liberty Sport Rec Specs (prescription), Buff headbands. Leggings for every season and holiday!
Favorite event: As a player, I love the WSMRA Annual Championships, IRF World Seniors, and USAR National Doubles. As a team leader, as much as I like to travel with the adult US Team, the IRF World Juniors showcases the future of our sport.
Best results at tournaments you’ve played in: My results are not stellar, but I’m proud to be in the best shape of my life at my age (62). I’m quick on the court, and people say I have a pretty effective drive serve. Every week I take a lesson and work out with my instructor, Andy Pitock, who is also my mixed partner.
Day job: Full-time racquetball volunteer. Eleven years ago, I retired from McDonald’s Corporation after 27 years in Operations, Training, and Olympics activation. I write event coverage articles for Racquetball magazine and assist with editing submissions and proofing each issue.
Charity close to your heart: Any organizations working for animal rights and rescue.
Family shoutout: My supportive husband of 21 years and best friend Kit Lawson; family in Decatur, Illinois; dog Hayley and cat KC.
Other sports played in addition to racquetball: No time for that! I’m a racquetball gal through and through.
Do you know someone else we should be celebrating with this interview and feature process? Drop us a line on Facebook!