Not many decide what sport to which they will commit their lives based on a television show, unless you are tennis ambassador Sylvia Loo.
Growing up in Hong Kong, Loo remembers the breathtaking beauty of the Japanese tennis show she watched throughout her childhood. The show followed two sisters throughout their tennis career, and Loo decided that tennis was a sport she wanted to try.
“I was just fascinated with it, with the storyline and how it showed them playing tournaments,” said Loo. “So, I thought it would be a fun sport.”
As it turns out, Loo’s older brother was extremely involved with the sport and decided to take her to the courts with him to give her a try. Everything that Loo knew of tennis from the television show couldn’t have prepared her for how much she would love the sport. From the moment she stepped out on the court with her brother, she craved to know more.
Loo began her tennis career small, hitting against a concrete wall to start mastering the strokes and the timing of the ball. As chance would have it, one of her friends was already receiving lessons from a private coach and asked Loo if she wanted to come with her to one of the lessons. Loo began taking lessons regularly, her game flourishing into a lifelong passion.
Now, as an adult, Loo has found the same excitement through the game as she did when she was a child in Hong Kong. By day, Loo commutes from Northwest Indiana into Chicago where she works for the world’s largest steel company, ArcelorMittal. But by evening, Loo is heavily involved with her home club, H-F Racquet & Fitness Club in Homewood, Ill.
Loo also hopes to convey to others through her position as an ambassador the numerous benefits the game provides, including the social, physical and mental aspects. In her own life, Loo has seen an overall improvement in her health and well-being.
Loo is confident that when someone tries the sport, they will catch the “bug”, just as she has.
“I just love the game, because I feel that it is a very elegant game, and it’s different from other sports, because you have both the individual and team aspects,” said Loo. “So, I think it is very dynamic as a sport, and when you see the pros playing, you want to be one of them.”
Some of Loo’s best memories come from tennis, and she is confident she would not have found some of the close friendships she has formed without it. For Loo, tennis has become an outlet for the competitive side she never knew she had. It has also brought her and her husband closer together. Loo says now they never travel anywhere without their racquets.
From the first time Loo was exposed to tennis at a young age, she knew it would change the course of her life for the better. As a tennis ambassador, Loo aims to inspire those around her and introduce new players to the game for years to come.