Hispanic Heritage Month:
James Maimonis, Manager, Media & Communications | October 11, 2019
CENTRAL FALLS, RI- Throughout National Hispanic Heritage Month, USTA New England is celebrating prominent Hispanic tennis leaders in New England. Tracey Giron is the Parks and Recreation Director for the City of Central Falls, RI. Born and raised in Central Falls, Giron is the first woman to lead the department and has been instrumental in leading the city’s tennis push.
USTA New England caught up with Giron to discuss her crucial role in the New England Tennis Community.
Why is your role in the tennis community and why is it so important to you?
As the Director of Parks and Recreation, my job is to provide essential events, programs and activities for our youth and families. Over the years, I have seen the sport rapidly grow in Central Falls, as we have ensured to implement tennis in all of our summer and after school programming. ADVERTISEMENT With our community’s myriad of backgrounds, this has helped battle the stigma around the sport and set the seal on diversity and inclusion.
Who/what have been your biggest influences throughout your career?
My community has and always will be my biggest influence in all that I do. Seeing how much of an impact a newly introduced sport had on many of our youth and families, truly helped me become more open minded and eager to expose our children to more variety. It also inspired me to never be afraid of advocating towards new initiatives because you never know who could possibly grow from them. I have to admit, the USTA New England staff, who I’ve had the honor to work so closely with, have definitely played a big role. Chantal Roche and Christy Bennett can make anyone love the game as much as they do. Lastly, the admirable Serena Williams, with my all-time favorite quote that gets me through challenging days in my current role: “I really think a champion is not defined by their wins, but by how they can recover when they fall.”
What can we do to get more Hispanics, both youths and adults, playing tennis?
We need to work together to overcome the stigma. We need to continue implementing tennis in urban communities and highlighting colored tennis players on both broadcast and social media platforms. USTA is already ahead of the game by continuously providing grants that will allow schools and communities to expose students to tennis. We also need to encourage more powerful women to rock the court too.
What has been your most meaningful contribution to the tennis community?
Being a part of the incredible team that has successfully expanded tennis awareness in our one square mile. In Central Falls, we have an amazing lineup of individuals actively working to see the sport thrive in our community. From our very own Mayor James A. Diossa and Police Department to our awesome City Hall team. Keep an eye out for our rising tennis superstars!