Continuing to Give Back Through Tennis
Eduardo Rincon: Hispanic Heritage Month Spotlight
“All I want to do is give back, be involved, and hopefully make a difference.”
It’s National Hispanic Heritage Month and to celebrate, USTA Mid-Atlantic is honoring players, providers, and coaches of Hispanic Heritage who are making their mark on tennis in the Section.
Every year from September 15 to October 15, we celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month by appreciating the community’s history, heritage, and influence of the ancestors of American citizens who came from Mexico, Spain, the Caribbean, and South, and Central America.
To kick off the month of observance, USTA Mid-Atlantic is celebrating with Eduardo Rincon, assistant coach for Virginia Tech’s women’s tennis team, an active member of the USPTA, and a member of USTA Mid-Atlantic’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) committee.
His background is rich in tennis. Rincon has over two decades of tennis experience, competing and coaching in the NCAA. Prior to his coaching career, he spent seven years ranked on the ATP tour and represented Colombia in the Davis Cup from 1997-2001.
“I come from a tennis family in Colombia,” Eduardo said. “My Dad played at the national level and he instilled his passion in us [my family]. My two older brothers, Jose and Mario, played in college and Mario played professionally. They are older than me, so I wanted to do what they were doing."
Today, Eduardo is using the lessons he learned on the tennis court throughout his career and is coaching the next generation of tennis greats here in the Mid-Atlantic at Virginia Tech. He’s also a champion for change in the community through the commitment to make the sport accessible and safe for ALL people in the Section through his active involvement on the USTA Mid-Atlantic DE&I committee. “All I want to do is give back, be involved, and hopefully make a difference,” he said.
USTA Mid-Atlantic had a chance to connect with Eduardo Rincon to learn how tennis has made an impact in his life, and how he continues to pay it forward here in the Mid-Atlantic.
USTA Mid-Atlantic: What do you enjoy most about tennis and how has it made an impact on your life?
Eduardo Rincon: As a coach, I enjoy helping people improve. I find this to be very rewarding, whether it is a player on our Virginia Tech Women’s Team, my daughters, or in a private lesson. As far as the impact on my life, tennis has given me amazing opportunities such as traveling the world, meeting amazing people, not to mention the uncountable life lessons.
What does it mean to be a leader in the tennis community?
It means so much and I see it as a great opportunity to help spread the love for tennis and to help grow the game.
Why is volunteering on the USTA Mid-Atlantic DE&I committee important to you?
It’s very important to me on many levels. Tennis has given me so much and I think it’s only appropriate to give back. I feel very blessed with the opportunities I have had and I would like to see other people experience the sport and the many benefits that come with it.
What outcomes do you hope will come from this committee?
Definitely more participation in the sport by minorities and people who usually don’t get to enjoy tennis for one reason or another.
If you were talking to someone who had never picked up a racquet before, what would you say to them about tennis?
Tennis will teach you so many life lessons and you can play forever!
Why is celebrating Hispanic Heritage month important to you?
As a Hispanic person myself, I think it’s really important to remember where I come from and also be aware of the success and faults of our ancestors and learn as much as possible about it.
How would you like to see tennis grow in the Hispanic community?
I would like to see more participation in general and also see more Hispanic-American players competing at the national, college, and pro levels.
Why is it important to see tennis grow in the Hispanic community?
This group represents such a big number in our overall community and I think it’s important for them to know that they can find safety, friendships, competition, exercise and so many other opportunities that come with the sport.
As we continue to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, we will be focusing on uplifting and amplifying the voices of Hispanic tennis players, providers, and coaches from the Mid-Atlantic region. Make sure to check out all the spotlights on our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and we encourage you to share and join the conversation.
USTA Mid-Atlantic is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to promoting tennis and its physical, social, and emotional health benefits. Learn about our impact in the Section and how USTA Mid-Atlantic creates community, character, and well-being.