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Siu Family Named USTA Florida November Volunteer of the Month

November 4, 2009 06:00 PM
New friendships, fitness and family time have been the main take-aways from tennis for Miami's Siu family. Their contributions to adult and junior tennis over the years has garnering them the USTA Florida November Volunteer of the Month award for 2009.

Father Javier and mother Giselle, besides both captaining adult league teams (Javier for the last 15 years), oversee a fast-improving tennis brood comprised of 13-year-old son Patrick, 10-year-old Christopher, and seven-year-old Isabella.

"This year we have gotten every member of the family involved in USTA tennis," Javier says. "I have been an adult captain for the last 15 years, I also captain a Jr. Team Tennis team. My wife has been playing in the USTA ladies league for the past two years, and she also is the captain of a Jr. Team Tennis team and a QuickStart team."

Isabella is a player in the newly-formed area QuickStart league, which plays with age-appropriate racquets and slower balls on smaller courts, while Patrick and Christopher play USTA Jr. Team Tennis.

"Patrick has been a player in the Jr. Extreme Team Tennis league for the past four years," Javier says. "Christopher followed in his brother's footsteps and joined a team that my wife captains."

The family makes it a practice to play together every Sunday morning.

"I am often told by family and friends that it is a beautiful thing to watch a family spend so much time together enjoying a common sport," Giselle says.

The Siu family has also benefited from the USTA "step-ladder" approach to tennis: QuickStart for beginners, leading to Jr. Team Tennis for beginner, intermediate and advanced players, to future tournaments, school tennis and beyond.

"As my children began to play competitively, it was the natural step to get them involved in Jr. Team Tennis and QuickStart," Giselle says. "My kids benefit so much from playing in their tennis teams that I wanted to become a volunteer. Captains are always needed, and I discovered that I loved captaining the teams. I have seen Patrick go from a talented, impatient tennis player to a mature and focused player. No doubt his ability to focus and win matches are due to his involvement in Jr. Team Tennis. As for my daughter Isabella, Quickstart has given her the confidence she needed. With this boost in confidence, she will make a beautiful transition to Jr. Team Tennis."

Giselle says that captaining and organizing adult and junior teams has added to the quality of life for herself and her husband, and she feels blessed that her whole family has such a passion for tennis.

"We practice together, we watch matches together, we discuss strategy together and we volunteer together," she says. "I really feel that I can't ask for more. The kids are involved in a healthy environment, playing a wonderful sport."

Tennis, according to the Sius, is their sport for a lifetime.

"Having the entire family involved in tennis has helped us find a common activity that we all enjoy," Javier says. "We get to play together, learn, help and support each other as we enjoy playing the sport."


Birthplace: Panama
Favorite Movie: Star Wars
Favorite Food: pizza
Favorite Travel Spot: beach, mountains, skiing
Favorite Tennis Stroke/Shot: forehand
My earliest tennis memory was: watching Borg and McEnroe play the 1980 Wimbledon final.
If I could play tennis with three people, they would be: Roger Federer, Jimmy Connors, Steffi Graf.
When I am not playing tennis I am: watching tennis on TV or at the Sony Ericsson [Miami]. I love the Tennis Channel.
Best-ever tennis memory: going to the Sectional playoffs with my wife's team.


When did you start playing tennis?
I have been playing tennis for about seven years and have been playing USTA matches since I was nine. I got interested in it watching my dad play his matches.
Christopher: I started playing tennis when I was 7 and I started to play a lot better when I was 9.

Who is your favorite player?
Pete Sampras because he was able to serve and volley in a time others couldn't. He also changed my game a lot.
Christopher: Roger Federer because he plays awesome and I learned to use his forehand similar to him.

What are your goals?
Patrick: To get better with each passing day.
Christopher: I want to play as good as my dad and get even better.






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