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Tiong a leader on and off the court

October 25, 2013 02:31 PM
UTSA Mid-Atlantic captain Ed Tiong (left) watches the action at the 2013 USTA League National Championships in Tucson, Ariz.
By Jessica Hall, special to USTA.com
Ed Tiong is a full-time eye technician and a year-round volunteer. The 54-year-old captain of the USTA Mid-Atlantic men’s 18 & Over 3.5 team, which is representing Chantilly, Va., in this weekend’s USTA League National Championships in Tucson, Ariz., is involved in a number of volunteer projects.
On the court, Tiong works with the United States Player Tennis Association on a community development program that offers a 10- to 12-week training course to earn a USPTA training certification.
“We have eight players on our roster who participate in the community development program called ‘Train the Trainer,’” Tiong said. “This program allows our players to get certified to be coaches and captains at local high schools to help kids in the sport of tennis.”
Tiong is also a member of the Catholic Diocese of Arlington in the Northern Virginia Office of Multicultural Ministry who participates with the Catholic Youth Organization to help kids get involved in tennis.
“I wanted to reach out to the youth,” Tiong said. “I took USTA RCW workshops (for recreational coaches) and was able to start a program in Springfield, Va., where the kids can learn and play tennis.”
Off the court, Tiong is working on a charity project called ANCOP (Answering the Cry of the Poor) that is focused on helping the children of Philippines.
“The main purpose of ANCOP is to reach out to underprivileged kids and provide funding for them to go to school,” Tiong said. “We hold an accountability to ourselves to help the kids do well in the classroom as well as helping them live a better life.”
Tiong’s leadership is evidenced at USTA League Nationals as well. Out of 24 members on the USTA Mid-Atlantic team, 19 traveled to Tucson for this weekend. That includes Cedric Abalos, who worked 17-hour days for four days in a row to get time off to participate in Nationals with his teammates.
“I tried to take this weekend off to come to Nationals but my boss rejected it,” Abalos said. “I made sure I got here anyways because this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. We have a great, supportive team and I wouldn’t miss it for the world.”
A world his captain is working to make a better place for countless others – on the court and off.
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