Tennis Tuesday is a content series curated by the New York Empire that will feature some of the game’s greats and New York’s finest tennis coaches, administrators, and fans. This week, we chat with USTA Eastern’s Metro Region President, Pablo Sierra.
1. You’re USTA Eastern’s Metro Region President. What does that role entail?
I’m enjoying the position of Metro Region President. The position allows me to work with our Board, both Regional and Sectional. We are all individuals that have a unified goal to promote the game of tennis. As President, I’ve made it a point to go out and visit CTAs and see the wonderful programs that they are conducting. I’m involved with all aspects of the game. I’m enjoying establishing relationships with them and inviting them to participate in our Metro meetings so we can share ideas, and see how we can assist each other. We are introducing Net Generation – that is going to be a lot of fun.
2. How did you become involved with USTA Eastern?
I joined the USLTA, initially, when I was 13-14 years old. I became involved with the USTA Metro Board around 2003. Tim Heath was the Metro President at the time.
3. You’re the creator of the South Brooklyn Tennis Association. Can you tell us what the SBTA is all about?
SBTA was formed to promote tennis to kids that didn’t have the means to play. It was also formed to promote wellness to help combat childhood obesity, diabetes and heart disease. I developed several campaigns to promote the game of tennis. The first one is “Take A Swing,” which we first used at an American Cancer Society “Relay for Life” event. The tag line is used to encourage individuals to go out and try the game, by going out and taking a swing. However, we were getting invited to several health-related events, and the we began using the tag line as “Take A Swing at cancer, or Take a Swing at Diabetes, etc. The second campaign is “Tennis-Anywhere, Anytime, Anyplace.” This campaign takes the game of tennis using our portable nets, foam balls and mini rackets on the road throughout the five boroughs. We have been asked to do the same in New Jersey and Texas. Everything we do is free. We bring all the equipment and giveaways. We have also used the same equipment at a Senior Center. They enjoyed it. We’ve been able to operate based on grants from USTA Eastern, as well as Metro in the past. I do have a third campaign that hasn’t been launched yet, and that is called, “Mz. T – Tennis Anyone?” This is targeted at getting more girls involved in the sport. I usually introduce them on my t-shirts.
4. What inspired you to start the organization?
I was inspired to start the organization, because of my love for the game. The game is so educational in many respects. It is a thinking game. Players are always thinking on the court. You have decision making, split-second decision making, developing strategies, competition, science, networking and socializing. The game exposes individuals to so many things.
5. How do you think seeing professional competition like World TeamTennis can influence young people who are learning the game?
WTT can definitely influence young people. WTT brings a different spin on the game. They bring along FUN and color. Kids can root for the teams. It brings a team concept where they can high five and fist Bump. You have music; kids can dance. Young people like these kinds of thing. Basically, the young people can enjoy a good experience. So WTT brings in a different atmosphere, and with today’s changing youth, I think it is win-win. Bottom line is we have a great sport, and we can promote it.