Tennis: the sport of a lifetime

by Deputy Pete Melendez

How many of you here in Van Horn have passed the tennis courts at the high school and seen them empty? Have you thought about going out with your friends or family to play, but never followed through because you don’t know how to play?

Well, Deputy Pete Melendez and Paul Uranga would like to change that.

Paul has been playing tennis most of his life having played high school tennis and his daughter Cammi is also an accomplished tennis player having represented Van Horn High School at the regional championships twice.

Deputy Melendez has also been playing tennis since he was 9, was a ranked junior player and has been teaching tennis since he was 18. He is still competing in United States Tennis Association (USTA) Tournaments and Leagues having competed at the sectional and national level. Deputy Melendez was an instructor at the El Paso Tennis Club and El Paso Of cer’s Club for 8 year’s working with the clubs junior programs.

USTA slogan is “Tennis: the sport for a lifetime”, Deputy Melendez says he is living proof of this. At age 53 he is still competing at the 2nd highest level.

What Deputy Melendez will start an Adult and Junior Development program starting in January and has recently gained permission from the school superintendent Dalia Benavides, to use of the tennis courts for classes and tournaments. The program would consist of basis instruction of the tennis combined with games that would involve some exercise. Eventually, he would like to develop an active tennis community which would utilize the court and hopefully help keep our community fit.

One of things that Paul and Deputy Melendez have been discussing is getting lighting put up on the court so that people could use them during the evening hours especially during the hot summer months.

Another item of consideration is Paul and Deputy Melendez would like to bring a small annual Men’s and Women’s Open Tennis Tournament to Van Horn so our residents can see what tennis looks like at the highest level. The tournament would hopefully attract players from the El Paso, Juarez and Las Cruces area along with players from the Odessa and Midland. Of course, these people would have to stay her in Van Horn so hopefully they would bring business to our hotels and restaurants.

Currently, Deputy Melendez is creating a list of interested people for the Adult and Junior Clinics that will start in January of 2016. The classes would be once a week at a cost of $5.00 a person. If interested please contact him at 915-309-0703.


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