I first join the MTG in September 2012. I remember being online one night trying to find out about tennis leagues and groups that I can perhaps join. And like a gift from the heavens, the MTG popped up! How excited I was to find out that the MTG was an LGBT tennis group! I was totally floored. I remember emailing Daniel Arzuaga who was on the MTG Board at the time, and he replied right away. We spent days and nights emailing and then eventually texting and calling each other. Daniel was so sweet (and still is) and told me all about this great group and invited me over to play at at a doubles tennis party at the Harlem Armory. It was so much fun, and he and the ladies and gentleman I met and played doubles with that night were so nice and friendly. Those people by the way (Max Goodman, Charles Bernard, RJ Miles, Gina Colelli, Tiffany Chern & Andrew Wallace) I still know and are friends with.
When and why did you become the Courts and Events Director?
Since last year in the summer of 2014, I had been co-hosting and co-organizing MTG tennis events with Nader Kassis who is our Social Events Director at Parkside Tennis and at Match Point tennis facilities in Brooklyn. So I really owe a lot to Nader for initially getting me out there to help out and for getting me hands on involvement. I was named Courts and Events Director by the MTG Board in early September. I was surprised, flattered and humbled really when Stuart emailed me with the news. Being part of this group and giving back to it in this way I feel it's a complete come full circle moment for me.
What are some of the pros/cons of your position?
So far there have been very few cons in this position. I am doing pretty much everything I enjoy doing. At the end of the day though, nothing is perfect and will never be. I do believe that my main goal in this position will be to help create a positive and pleasant tennis playing experience for all our members and participants. If I can help in achieving this, then it will be all good and I will be satisfied. Still though, I feel that the only way that I will know if I am doing my job right will be by finding out from YOU - our MTG members. So I would gladly welcome your feedback, thoughts, comments, advice, etc. Thanks!
How long have you been playing tennis?
I started playing tennis in the summer of 2012, around the same time I first joined the MTG and haven't stopped since (LOL). I do remember taking co-ed tennis for Physical Education class for one semester when I was a high school sophomore, and really really loved it! I still have that wooden racquet at home. But then I never played again until the summer of 2012. I do want to say that my inspiration for playing again in the summer of 2012 was Kim Clijsters, one of my all time favorite players. She had just announced that the summer of 2012 would be the last time she would play, so I figured I would start playing in her honor (wink-wink). I remember wishing Kim had left me her unbelievable forehand and two-handed backhand groundstrokes!
Tell us more about your tennis background...
My tennis background? I don't think I have one to be honest! (LOL). The one thing I do know sure is that I have loved this sport since I was 10 years old. I remember watching a tennis match between Chris Evert (who is MY FAVORITE TENNIS PLAYER-MY TENNIS (S)HERO) and Hana Mandlikova. And I was beyond mesmerized. The match was a quick one for Chris, she won it 6-1, 6-1, but it was the way she played, the fluidity and perfection of her shot making, that got me hooked. I remember begging my parents to get me racquets and balls which they did. And I played with my brothers for weeks and weeks after that, and very badly too! So even though I totally sucked back then, I started following and watching this sport very closely, along with my family, which we still do to this very day.