Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Feature:
James Maimonis, Manager, Media & Communications | May 23, 2019
NEW MILFORD, CT- In honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, USTA New England is highlighting Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the New England tennis community. In this feature, we are proud to celebrate, Miyako Kinoshita, of New Milford, CT, who is an avid tennis player and fan with a passion for children. Miyako works for Green Chimneys Children's Services in Brewster, NY where she helps children with psychosocial disabilities. In her free time, she enjoys playing USTA League tennis out of Middlebury Racquet Club and serving as the chair of USTA New England’s Adaptive Sub-committee.
Q & A with Miyako Kinoshita
Tell us a little bit about your tennis background.
I grew up playing tennis in Kobe, Japan. I was a high school team captain. I quit playing tennis after I had a burn-out after being a captain dealing with teammates who were very difficult. ADVERTISEMENT There is a tennis and swim club a half mile down the road from my house where I drive by every day, and never thought to stop, until one summer it was really hot and I decided to sign my family up for their swim membership. I started playing tennis there, got invited to USTA teams, and three years later, I am a co-captain of the mixed doubles team and play on multiple teams.
Who was your tennis role model/influence who has contributed to your success today?
I lived in the same area and am the same age as Kimiko Date, who is the first Japanese player to make it in the WTA top 10. I saw her play in our tournaments though I was not good enough to play against her. She was and always will be my tennis hero.
What can we do to get more Asian Americans, both youths and adults, playing tennis?
Tennis is a very popular sport in Japan, especially recreationally in college. I live close to New York City, and we have a large population of Asian Americans playing tennis here. Sometimes Asian Americans have their own small community or groups they hang out with. Reaching out to the group may be a good way. Especially for those who do not speak English well, it is hard to go to a tennis club or go to a park and talk to strangers to play.
What has been your most meaningful contribution to the tennis community?
I currently chair the USTANE Adaptive Sub-committee. Working with children with disabilities is my passion and career. I taught horseback riding to people with disabilities for more than 10 years, and I work with professionals who work with children with disabilities, providing Animal and Nature based therapeutic and educational learning opportunities. I would love for children who may not have been mainstreamed to enjoy the joy of playing sports. Team and contact sports are very hard for some of the children, but tennis is great because it only takes two people, a couple of racquets and balls and a public court. It is a great way for them to enjoy sports.