Ciaran Thompson photo
Carolina Escamilla is the new coach for the St. Paul Tennis Club. She played for the University of Kentucky's varsity tennis team and represented her country at various interanational tournaments such as the Fed Cup.
view all photos (-count-)
Tennis club welcomes new coach at annual rally
Coach brings wealth of knowledge and experience to promote sport
May 15, 2012 12:21 pm |
The St. Paul Tennis Club introduced its new instructor last week during the annual tennis rally, which was held in the St. Paul Regional High School gym with around 40 current and prospective tennis players attending.
Originally from Medellin, Colombia, Carolina Escamilla is the newest asset to the tennis club here in St. Paul and is eager to start coaching members as well as kids from schools in the area.
An internationally recognized tennis athlete, Escamilla spent four year playing varsity tennis at the University of Kentucky where she advanced to the NCAA doubles tournament three times. She majored in biology and after her eligibility ran out, she stayed at the university for a year to coach.
Prior to university, Escamilla represented her county at various tournaments such as the South American Junior Championships, the World Junior Championships and the Fed Cup, the premier team competition in women’s tennis.
The Colombian native was inspired to pick up the racket, like many kids, after watching some of her siblings play it. The experience has allowed to her travel many places, pursuing her love of the game.
“When I was little, my brothers started playing tennis and I wanted to do everything they did,” Escamilla said. “They never played competitive tennis. I was the only one who really got into the whole competitive thing.
“It just happened. One day, I was learning and the next I was playing tournaments and winning,” she added.
Joining a tennis club in Colombia around the age of 11, Escamilla quickly developed the necessary skills to compete at tournaments around South America, Europe and the United States and was eventually approached by a coach from the University of Kentucky.
Alongside tennis, Escamilla had a dream of attending med school and soon realized she would have decide whether to give up playing tennis at a high level. She eventually took the offer to attend the U of K and play for the school’s varsity team.
“The reason why I went there is because I didn’t want to stop playing tennis,” she said. “I wanted to get something out of tennis since I dedicate my whole life to it.”
Describing the experience of playing sports at college as “like no other,” the Colombian said she was able to develop her tennis skill set and athletic abilities.
After she finished school and spent a year coaching kids through a program with the U of K, Escamilla spent several months in Toronto teaching at a tennis club before returning home. She then took the post as instructor for the club here in St. Paul.
“What I want is to make them see tennis as a fun sport that they could maybe try to play in the winter time in the gym,” she said about coaching in St. Paul. “Teach them fundamental stuff in a simple way … some challenging things so they feel they want to learn and come back.”
Above everything else, Escamilla said the most important thing when teaching those new to the sport is making sure they have fun while learning. The sport is rewarding not just with what you can do on the court, she said.
“It can give you confidence and a lot of things because you’re out there by yourself doing it,” she said. “You can grow as a person and translate all those things you learn in the sport to your life.”
The new coach has already started attending schools where she’ll be teaching kids of all levels and is hopeful some will join the St. Paul club to learn more about the game and develop new skills.
The St. Paul Tennis Club is accepting registrations for memberships with the cost at $60 for family, $35 for adults and $25 for students. Group lessons and clinics are included in the membership as well as access to summer camps to help develop individual technique and provide a good social atmosphere
Those interested can contact Dave Shankowski at 780-645-6637 or Casey Enriquez at 780-645-8183.