Whoever said tennis is a family sport must have been talking about February’s Volunteer(s) of the Month. The Otero-Octtaviani family of Puerto Rico exemplifies how volunteering can be a family activity that involves giving back to the community, playing tennis, and having fun.
Parents Ramón and Ileana have involved all their children in tennis in some way. Ramón started playing tennis in Ford Hood, Texas, in 1978 and continued after he moved to Puerto Rico at the Carcaño Alicea Sports Complex in Bayamón. After a stint with another facility in Guaynabo, he came back to “Carcaño” where he continues promoting tennis through clinics and lessons to adults, teenagers and kids.
Ileana Octtaviani began her participation in tennis in 1995 as a volunteer in community events with the USTA Caribbean section. Later she continued her involvement as a Junior Olympics coordinator for six years. For the last five years, she has worked as a Regional and State Public School Tournament Coordinator. She has assisted in junior, wheelchair and adult tournaments, and currently she helps with Junior Team Tennis in all categories.
Ramón Otero, Jr., is the family’s competitive swimmer, but he always makes time to help the family in all their tennis activities.
Ismael Otero first competed through Junior Team Tennis and went on to participate in Junior Olympics. He was a regional champion for four consecutive years. In his fourth Junior Olympics he helped as an assistant coach. After gaining his bachelor’s degree in physical education, he became a tennis instructor.
Victor Otero is an NTRP 4.0 player, having started in 1995 with Junior Team Tennis. He also has been Regional Champion in Junior Olympics for six years. Currently he works as a tennis instructor in Torrimar Tennis Club and in Dorado. In summer 2005, he worked with a mobile tennis summer camp, promoting tennis in high risk communities.
Elba Otero is a tennis instructor with a passion to teach tennis to low-income kids. A former Junior Team Tennis participant, she also competed in six Junior Olympics. She has a nursing degree from the University of Sacred Heart, where in 2001, she received the Dolphin Heart for sportsmanship. She designed and organized the mobile tennis summer camp.
"This family contributes so much as volunteers to tennis in our section. We feel very lucky to have them,” said USTA Caribbean Marketing and Communications Coordinator Carla Sanchez. “If all our tennis fans and players got involved like this, it would be wonderful.”
Do you know someone who would make a good Tennis Volunteer of the Month? Email Andrew Feldman
with a short description of how your volunteer helps promote and develop the game of tennis. If you have a picture, send it along.Go to Volunteer of the Month pageReturn to USTA Volunteers home