Metropolitan Tennis Group

Membership Director:

Photo of Albert Cousins

The Membership Director is responsible for general membership issues including but not limited to processing membership applications, responding in a timely manner to emails from the members of the public regarding memberships, joining/renewals, and membership privileges, maintaining the membership database.

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When and why did you join MTG?

I joined MTG in the Spring of 2013 after some stumbling around online with Google searches about opportunities for gay tennis like the other gay athletic groups in the city. Through that process I found sites for the GLTA and got excited about the prospect of traveling around to play tennis and meet like-minded people. My first MTG event was a Roosevelt Island Drill and Play, followed soon after by the Marsha Day Club Championships. I had no idea what, if anything, would come as a result of joining the group but joining has helped me to meet new people from and, as a player, has given me an entirely new set of goals to work toward and challenges to overcome.

When and why did you become the Membership Director?

For the past two years I served as a volunteer coordinator of the Liberty Open and have played the summer ladder and winter doubles each of the (few) years that I have been a tennis player. I am "all in" when it comes to MTG and I feel honored to have the privilege of being a part of a group whose mission is to make tennis a positive and enriching experience. There are a lot of opportunities to enhance the "we" feeling/notion/aspects of the group. We all vary in playing experience, in our relationship with tennis, our motivation and goals of being a member, and in our professional lives - but we do share the common bond of being committed to enjoying the game. Finding ways to let each other know about the "who" of MTG is just one small way to develop a sense of team and to open our perspective to just how many members there are - and how many more players are out there in our city and region looking to make regular tennis connections with other players.

What are some of the pros/cons of your position?

I am not entirely sure of this just yet.

How long have you been playing tennis?

My first match was in May of 2013.

Tell us more about your tennis background.

I started to play after realizing that my boyfriend was an avid and talented tennis player. I had no idea about the sport and he kept his interest low key and quiet for the first year of our relationship. I loved the idea of us having something active in common that we could do together - so one day we purchased a racquet for me. We spent an entire summer hitting against a backboard, the next summer playing in empty parking lots without a net and then in 2012 he finally took me to an actual tennis court and we began to hit the ball back and forth. He then got me lessons for Christmas that year and in January I finally started to learn "how" to play. Since then I have been a total addict and participate in clinics and lessons like a religious act.

In Spring of 2013, after finding out about the GLTA and MTG - and without any experience playing a match other than hitting with my boyfriend, I declared that I was going to practice non-stop and "travel all over" to play tennis. Since then, that is what I have aimed to do - playing as much as I can and traveling wherever I am able in order to compete, improve, and have fun challenging myself to learn an entirely new sport. It's been fascinating to begin something brand new as an adult - but it is one of the best life choices I have made.

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