I am seeking funds to send Tatiana, a 9 year old tennis player and myself to the Pacific Coast 10’s Exchange Tournament, at Scottsdale Ranch Park in Scottsdale, Arizona. More specifically Tatiana has been invited to participate as a member of Team Hawai‘i for those young athletes 10 years old and under.
This tournament will be held on September 28 through 30, 2018, and participating regions shall include: NorCal, SoCal, PNW, Intermountain and Hawai‘i teams. All teams consist of four boys and four girls.
I discovered Tatiana while training a few of the Waianae High School tennis players last year.
In September of 2017, I noticed a little girl that started practicing against the wall by herself, almost always alone no adult. That’s not new to me but her persistence was. She had an old tennis racquet using balls she found in the bushes. This little girl did it almost everyday for the month of September. I could tell she didn’t know technique but she still kept trying. I usually worked with the High School tennis players for about 3 hours or more. This little lady would stay all the while we were there.
I could tell she was athletic so at the end of September I approached her and asked her where her parents were. She said they were home. I asked where’s home? She said Makaha. That’s a little far for a little girl to be walking everyday especially when it’s dark. I asked how she got to the tennis courts? She said with her friends. I asked where’s your friends? She said she didn’t know. I mainly wanted to meet her parents to make sure her parents would be ok with me training her. Her answers sounded fishy. I said, baby if you keep practicing like this uncle will teach you. If you stop I won’t. She got really excited. I discovered she was 8 years old and her name is Tatiana.
I finally met her parents and found they were homeless and living in the homeless community next to the Tennis Courts. Her mom told her not to tell people they were homeless because people have a stigma with the homeless. I don’t. Her parents were glad I was going to teach tennis to Tatiana because of the passion for tennis she developed.
Well, Tatiana kept hitting against the wall through the month of October so at the beginning of November I told her to come on over and join my practice with the teenagers. I slowly taught her techniques.
When the High School Tennis practice started the teenagers had to practice with their High School coach everyday. So I focused on training Tatiana and a couple of other kids.
Tatiana was a sponge and developed really well so in January I started putting her in tournaments.
Her first January tournament she got bagled in her first orange ball main draw and consolation. She had tears for her loss but stayed in the fight. That was due to my not being familiar with the smaller size orange ball court. She began to progress from there.
A week later she played another orange ball tourney and really showed improvement.
She was able to progress and complete both the orange and green ball level tournaments by June.
In July she was a ballgirl for the Women's Pro Tournament held at the University of Hawaii Tennis Complex at Manoa. She loved being able to watch the pro women play.
People say I must be a good coach because of how well Tatiana has developed. I tell them I wouldn’t be able to train anyone the way I do Tatiana without the passion this little lady has for tennis. She will practice everyday if she could. I train her 2 to 3 hours a day 6 days a week. People say she may get burnt out. I said that’s true if I was the one pushing her to hit everyday. But, she is the one that wants to do it.
This little lady has an unending athletic potential. I love training her because of her drive and passion to improve her game.
Her showing up to practice daily is proof of her drive and love of tennis.
I don't charge for training juniors but I am picky about who I train.
Well, with that I hope someone or more than one will be able to help us.
Mahalo for any help you can offer us.
Wayne E. Huddy
Tatiana’s Uncle / Coach.
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