Volunteer Deborah Kalloo has enjoyed an inspirational first summer with Kings County Tennis League. As a teacher and recreational tennis player outside of the Sumner Tennis Club court, she's grateful to have found an opportunity that combines her passions. Deborah enlightens us with her personal account of being a role model for children through the sport of tennis.
How did you learn about KCTL?
I was having coffee in a cafe on Fulton Street, where one of your flyers caught my eye. I registered almost immediately thereafter, completed group training with Meredith, and here I am today.
What motivated you to join our program?
My motivation primarily came from my love of tennis. I was excited by the opportunity to teach tennis, learn about teaching tennis, and to meet people to who also love tennis.
Can you tell us about your prior tennis experience?
I played team tennis in high school, and I was fortunate enough pretty impressive and positive seniors as my coaches and role models. When I came to New York, I took a few lessons at Prospect Park Tennis Center to brush up on my skills. I've since upgraded by approach to tennis.
How has your experience working with kids as a teacher informed your role as a volunteer at Sumner?
As a high school Math and Computer Science teacher, I utilize some of the same strategies with the students at Sumner. Specifically, I incorporate the listening and rewards strategies I've developed in the classroom. I also believe that as a teacher it is important to impart values for my students, so I was happy to see that KCTL integrates this aspect into its curriculum. We have the opportunity to teach values like good sportsmanship, environmental responsibility, and taking care of our property.
What has been the best or most inspirational part of volunteering at Sumner?
I love the people: the coaches, the volunteers' spirit, and the kids' drive to keep trying and not give up. Gigi, a seven-year-old student at Sumner said it best at the end of class recently: "Everyone tried their best, so everyone is a winner."