Over 60 kids from around the area were given the opportunity to learn about tennis, eat food, and overall have fun, thanks in part to the Cal State LA women’s tennis team. The team helped host the Pancho Gonzalez Tennis Fiesta at the Cal State LA tennis complex on Saturday, May 14th.
The festival was put on by the Pancho Gonzalez Tennis Youth Foundation, a group that honors the legacy of Pancho Gonzalez by helping Hispanic kids with tennis, as well as exposing them to education and getting them excited about learning. Cal State LA Tennis and the SoCal Tennis Association also helped run the event.
The children spent two hours on the court getting tennis lessons from the team and instructors, and then were treated with free hotdogs and hamburgers donated by a local food truck. They were also given a tour of the Cal State LA campus.
Sandy Kriezel, head coach of the tennis team, had many positive things to say about the event. “It’s a win-win situation. It allows our student athletes to give back to the youth in the local community, and teach them the game they have passion for. I couldn’t be more proud of my student athletes for their enthusiasm and donating their Saturday morning to do this.”
The children came from a number of different local youth groups such as the Boys and Girls Club of East Los Angeles, the Sheriff’s’ Youth Activities Leagues from Compton and Norwalk, the National Junior Tennis & Learning of the USTA and from youth park sites from Los Angeles, South Los Angeles, Downtown Los Angeles and San Fernando.
This might’ve been the first time the school and the team hosted the event, but it was such a success, coach Kriezel hopes to host it again. “We’re hoping to build a relationship to make this a bi-annual event. We had nine courts and the courts were full. We look forward to hosting it again in the future.”
So don’t be too upset if you missed this great festival, because there may be another chance to attend sometime this fall.
By David Ochoa