Tennis and Family Go Hand in Hand
May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage month (AAPI). To celebrate, this month USTA Mid-Atlantic is uplifting voices from the AAPI communities who contribute to our region’s vibrant tennis family both on and off the court.
For Johnny Hsiung and Evelyn Chan, tennis is a family affair. Their love affair with tennis began when former volleyball player Evelyn, took a beginner clinic for her birthday in 2017. Johnny soon followed by taking a tennis clinic at the Pauline Addie Betz Tennis Center 10-year reopening celebration. Now, the Bethesda, Md residents are a tennis family, spending time on the courts with their 12-year daughter and regularly traveling to tennis tournaments and clinics with friends.
Johnny and Eveyln both enjoy meeting new people that they normally wouldn't have if they didn't play tennis. With tennis as their primary social outlet, USTA Mid-Atlantic wanted to find out more about how tennis has impacted their lives as a family in the AAPI community.
Why is AAPI Month important to you and your family?
We need to celebrate how AAPI culture and community have enriched our American history. It's so important for future generations to see people who look like them in the media. (Evelyn) I still remember how surprised I was to see Michael Chang playing tennis on TV for the first time. It was so rare back then to see AAPI representation and it made a lasting impression on me.
What would you tell someone who is in the AAPI community that is interested in playing tennis?
It is a great outlet for meeting people from all over the world!
What is your perspective on diversity in tennis? Nationally? In the Mid-Atlantic?
Tennis is a sport that should be universally available to anyone interested. However, tennis can be a fairly expensive sport to play with equipment (rackets and balls) costs and court rentals (during winter months). So while there is great racial diversity in tennis, especially within the Mid-Atlantic, there could be more diversity from an economic perspective among players.
As you think about the future, what is your wish for your generation and the sport?
I wish that tennis can become a more accessible sport for anyone interested in playing, not just those with the financial means to do so.
What three words would you use to describe tennis in the Mid-Atlantic?
Fun, diverse and challenging
Why is it important to have an organization such as USTA Mid-Atlantic working to increase access to tennis in all communities in the region?
Tennis is a lifelong sport. Increasing access to more communities in the region will expose more people to this great sport and will inevitably benefit the overall experience of tennis league play.
Johnny Hsiung and Evelyn Chan’s passion for tennis grew because tennis programming was available in their community. USTA Mid-Atlantic seeks to make tennis more accessible for ALL people through innovative programming, creating grants to help grow the sport, developing a state-of the art tennis facility, and so much more. YOU can help bring tennis to more families like Johnny & Evelyn by giving to USTA Mid-Atlantic.
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.