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Orlando's Camargo Finds Himself in the Game Through 'Tenis para Todos'

February 3, 2014 03:23 PM
Camargo_and_wife_VOM-JAN-14After relocating to Orlando from Bogota, Colombia, tennis instructor Javier Camargo has come to epitomize the USTA slogan "Find Yourself in the Game." Through his volunteer work with the USTA Florida Section, he and his family have shared the game with, and been embraced by, the Hispanic and Orlando tennis community at large.

"I got involved [as a tennis volunteer] a year ago, and I did it because I have worked most of my career with Spanish-speaking students, because I started as a tennis instructor in Colombia," Camargo says. "I have 20-plus years in tennis experience working with many students, from pre-teens to adults in different tennis academies and sport centers in Bogota."

While his English has steadily improved, Camargo has also taken advantage of his background to assist USTA Florida in working with families and youngsters during the launch of "Tenis para Todos" (Tennis for Everyone). The PTR-certified pro volunteered as a coach during the Tenis para Todos event at the Oak Street Festival, and promoted the event at and collected money for Elton John's Mylan WTT Smash Hits, featuring Andy Roddick, Venus Williams and others in Orlando.

"I work with my wife Zulcy Reina, and she assists me by communicating with our students because English is not my first language, and she has a better understanding of it," Camargo says. "We also go together to every USTA Florida volunteer event. Sometimes my [teenage] daughter Yitzella helps us with the tennis classes as well."

Over the last year Camargo has become involved in a volunteer capacity in a plethora of other local tennis events, including Radio Disney's Concert in the Park involving tennis at Winter Park; with USTA Florida setting up mini-tennis courts at Orlando City Soccer games; the Feria de la Familia event with tennis at Heritage Park; a USTA Florida and Radio Disney local tennis facilities promotion at the Florida Mall; and Radio Disney's Education in the Park featuring tennis at Osceola Heritage Park.

"It puts a smile on my face when I heard that Javier is the volunteer of the month," said USTA Florida Tennis program Coordinator for the Orlando area Shelly Licorish. "Whenever I call on him to volunteer he never says no and he shows up with the brightest smile. He is so great with the children and stays long to help with set-up and break down. He's a special man."

"As a family we have been living in this country for four years and a half, and in this short time the USTA has been of tremendous help to us, showing us a brighter future to look forward to," Camargo says. "It has helped me as a tennis instructor to have a better perspective in my career, to meet new people in the tennis industry, and I'm looking forward to working with USTA with future programs and events such as Tenis Para Todos."

The USTA Florida Section thanks January 2014 Volunteer of the Month Javier Camargo for his work volunteering at Orlando-area tennis events and bridging the gap for students by providing Tenis para Todos.


Birthplace: Bogota, Colombia
Family: Wife Zulcy, and our children Yitzella and Mario
Favorite Movie: Despicable Me
Favorite Food: BBQ
Favorite Travel: Colombia
Favorite Shot: Backhand

My earliest tennis memory was..."when I was 7 years old working as a ball boy in my country, Colombia, a player gave me my first tennis wood racquet."

If I could play tennis with three people, they would be..."Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Pete Sampras."

When I am not playing tennis I am..."now working at night as a contractor with Disney Parks, but my goal is to be in the tennis courts teaching all day."

My best tennis memory is..."being chosen to come here to the United States to attend a Tennis Symposium at the Professional Tennis Registry in 1996."

I like to volunteer in tennis because..."it is a great opportunity to give to the community a big chance for them to participate, share, and love the tennis world."






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