In Game 9 of the Real Racquetball Show on November 2nd, Dr. Jody Nance was awarded the Real Racquetball Champion award for her work with the junior program in Stockton, California.
Dr. Nance has been involved in racquetball since 1989. Living in the Stockton, California area, she began the junior racquetball program at In-Shape West Lane out of a passion for the sport. Coach Jody’s passion led her to the Ellis family, and she credits them for their knowledge and dedication in helping grow the junior program in Stockton. Over her 30+ years, the program has helped produce some of the best racquetball players in the United States including those from the Rojas and Diaz families as well as current US National Team member David “Bobby” Horn. Still going strong, the Stockton program has produced several 2020-21 U.S. Junior Team members. Coach Jody has also volunteered her time to serve as an assistant coach and athletic trainer for the U.S. Junior National Team since 2013.
While Jody was not available to accept her award during the show, she provided USA Racquetball with the following statement:
“Thank you so much for honoring me for something that comes from my heart. In the more than 30 years I have worked with juniors in Stockton and with USA Racquetball, I sincerely believe I have received more than I have given.
“One of my proudest moments was being asked to be a part of the USA Junior Team (in 2013). I still remember my first camp at the Olympic Training Center. The pride that went along with that will last me a lifetime.
“Although it’s special to receive an award, I believe my reward has been watching these young athletes grow up and expand their horizons. I sincerely believe that youth sports play an important role in forming the adult someone’s going to become. It takes desire, drive and commitment to excel in sport as it does in life.
“Most of all, the relationships with athletes and their families is the most precious of all. I have made long-term friends that feel like a part of my family! Thanks to all who have allowed me to be a part of your lives. It is with humble pride I accept this award.”
USA Racquetball’s Executive Director Mike Wedel added, "We are so proud of Jody and all she does for racquetball. She has a fantastic reputation for working with juniors, including our US Junior Team on their trips to World Juniors. Jody continues to introduce others to the sport, and she is so very deserving of the Real Racquetball Champion award. Thank you for all you do for racquetball, Jody!"