Member Spotlight

Member Spotlight: The Tan Family

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You can always find the Tan family smiling at the Aspen Hill Club! This active family knows the importance of staying healthy and the Club has given everyone a way to be active in their own way.

 

Allen and Sunant grew up locally, both attending Kennedy High School and were members of the school varsity tennis team. Allen started tennis as a teenager after watching a some of his peers hitting the school tennis courts. He got a few friends together and they taught themselves how to play. Soon enough they were ready for the Kennedy High School Boys Tennis Team.

 

Now with two sons of their own, 9 year old Nathan and 11 year old Matthew, the couple knew they wanted to get the kids active in tennis. “A friend told me about the great program at Aspen Hill, so we came by. Tennis is great because they learn about exercise, competition, problem solving, and having a hobby for life! It’s much better than if they sat home and played video games!” explains Allen.

Nine year old Nathan is a member of Aspen Hill’s Junior Academy program, where he continues to work very hard on improving his tennis game, “Nathan is always one of the hardest workers in the class, and he makes everyone better,” explains Aspen Hill tennis professional Julien DeLaine. In fact, Nathan has been competing in USTA tournaments, winning his last two “10 and under” events. His last tournament was the USTA Orange Ball event at the Aspen Hill Club, congratulations, Nathan!

 

Matthew began his tennis in the Aspen Hill Club last winter in the Academy program. Through hard work in Academy and World Class Summer Camp, he is now a member of our highly competitive Future Stars program. Matthew was a key member of Aspen Hill’s Junior Interclub Team, tallying several key wins over strong opponents. In all of his matches, Matthew worked hard and never gave up! His great attitude on the court helped him earn several come-from-behind victories. Matthew is now competing in USTA sanctioned tournaments and his level continues to rise!

 

Sunant and Allen enjoy seeing the boys having fun on the tennis court from the comfortable couches of the Club, but they don’t just come to watch the action—they get involved too! “We enjoy the gym, it lets us get a great work out in while the boys are in tennis class,”
explains Allen.

 

Allen and Sunant, the smiles that your family shares with us at the Aspen Hill Club are contagious! We are so happy that you are part of our community and we are so looking forward to watching Matthew and Nathan grow on and off of the tennis court!

Member Spotlight

Member Spotlight: Eric’s Sweet Spot

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Ever since Eric’s parents, Thu and David, left Vietnam 40 years ago they have lived in the United States working very hard to provide for their two sons. Language has been a barrier for them, but instilling hard work into the mindset of sons Eric and Austin has come from their sacrifices.

Eric entered his teen years knowing that his family had it tougher than others, but he also had a role model—his brother Austin. “Austin left for California for college, and he’s been on his own since,” explains Eric. During this time, when Eric was just entering his teen years and Austin was in college, Eric’s father was diagnosed with throat cancer. At the age of 13, while Eric was stressed about his father’s health and what he would do for college himself, he used tennis to distress. “I went to play tennis with my friends one day and I hit the sweet spot of the racket, and I loved it!

Eric became consumed with learning as much as he could about tennis, this included YouTube videos, endless Google searches, and anything else that those of us that are “Tennis Nerds” can relate to! “Tennis became my way of dealing with everything,” Eric explains, “It became my passion and also my distraction tool.

 

Eric’s mother saw her son’s attention to tennis and wanted to help him play more tennis. “My mom worked at the hospital with Susan Towe (AHC member). Susan told my mom information about junior tennis classes, such as prices, and we knew we couldn’t afford that” explained Eric.

When Susan figured out that cost was an issue, she made a decision that would alter Eric’s ability to get onto the tennis court, she gave the family information on Fred’s ACES. Eric has now been attending World Class Elite at Aspen Hill Club and is an integral part of the program; Tennis Director Terrance Scott explains,  “Eric is an incredibly hard worker who leads by example. Our program is better because of Eric.

Fred’s ACES is a 501c(3) scholarship fund set up in memory of longtime Aspen Hill Club member Fred Sommer. Fred’s ACES provides scholarship opportunities to kids, of all ages and levels, across Montgomery County that face obstacles when it comes to getting onto the tennis court. The funds have assisted over 50 kids ranging in age from 8-17 years old, fully funding their tennis classes at The Aspen Hill Club. “Fred’s ACES was a dream come true for me, it fundamentally changed my life” explains Eric.

Since picking up a racket at the age of 13, Eric has developed into a force on the tennis court. He is entering his third year on the high school team at Gaithersburg High School, where he has been Varsity Captain for three years. Last year Eric played #2 on the varsity team, “ What I love about tennis is the strategy that it takes and the need to analyze your opponent. Figuring things out on the fly is key in tennis.

 

Eric is in his senior year at Gaithersburg this year and is looking forward to attending the University of Pennsylvania on a full scholarship/financial aid package next year. When Eric had his interview with UPenn, he was able to select where his admissions interview would take place, this decision was easy for him. “My interview was at Aspen Hill. At Aspen Hill and though Fred’s ACES, I learned that there are good people out there that want to help. I am forever inspired.

 

 

Eric, thank you for adding so much to our tennis program at Aspen Hill Club. You have grown into a leader and your coaches at Aspen Hill are so proud of you and cannot wait to see the great contributions you’ll make in this world.

 

 

Kids

Aspen Hill Club Hosts Kids From Around The Nation

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February brought an incredibly special event to The Aspen Hill Club—our Club and members served as hosts to the 2019 Winter Invitational. This special junior tennis tournament brought nearly 60 kids representing seven cities across the nation (DC, Boston, Dallas, Harlem, Philly, and Trenton) to learn and compete on and off the court. Each city sent USTA Local Excellence programs to the event.

USTA Excellence centers are designed to use tennis as a vehicle to educate and bring opportunities (on and off the court) to underserved youth. In addition to playing tennis at the Winter Invitational, players were treated to guest speakers including USTA National coaches, a college coach forum, and leadership skills and lessons by Win4Life.

To be a member of a USTA Excellence team, players must do much more than be strong players. Players must have at least a 3.0 GPA, conduct at least four community service events a year, complete a USTA NJTL Essay competition, and compete on local and national tennis events. While competing at the Winter Invitational, all players from across the country united and prepared over 200 lunches for the Montgomery County Coalition for the homeless – Home Builders Care Assessment Center (HBCAC) Men’s Emergency Shelter.

Former Aspen Hill member (and standout tennis player) Jeri Ingram had the idea to bring this event to a place that meant so much to her, “My dad  (Joe Ingram) was a member of Aspen Hill and brought me to summer camp when I was 9 years old, that’s where I met Vicki (my first coach) and Jeff Klein. Tennis changed my life and “if there was one person responsible for me enjoying the game of tennis and believing in my ability, it would be Jeff,” Jeri recalls. Bringing kids from across the country to the place where she began her tennis playing was incredibly special for Jeri, “I thought back to how many people helped me at Aspen Hill and at Springbrook High and I know it’s my obligation to reach others.”

Jeri played college tennis at the University of Maryland before playing pro tennis and having a world ranking. She returned to college after playing on the pro tour. Her career goal was to become a college athletic director, but after working with kids, she knew she had a different calling, she explains: “As I began working with kids that can’t afford tennis, I wanted to do more. The more kids I reach, the more I want to do.”

Jeri founded Metropolitan Tennis & Education Group six years ago to help kids have opportunities that they ordinarily wouldn’t, “It’s an awesome opportunity to teach kids and prepare them for college,” says Jeri. MTEF currently has 30 kids on their team, and “We have a GPA of 3.7,” boasts Jeri.

The 2019 Winter Invitational was a huge success. The kids played phenomenal tennis and were treated to learning from college tennis coaches. The kids had a blast and loved the facilities offered by The Club.  “We appreciate AHC hosting the event, because of community involvement events like this can happen. It’s a heavy lift and we need great support like we received from Aspen Hill” explained Jeri.

 

Aspen Hill was lucky to watch such great tennis and meet so many fabulous new faces!