The Third Annual Rosie Casals and Jackie Cooper Team Tennis Pro-Am returns this weekend to Indian Ridge Country Club. Local players eighteen and under will compete with pros in a round robin format, all doubles team play. Tennis hall of famer Rosie Casals tells us how the Pro-Am came to be.
"We love Jackie,” Rosie expressed, “He unfortunately passed away in 2013 and I wanted a way in which we could remember his life. He loved kids so I thought why not bring the local pros and juniors together with the amateurs. We also established the Jackie Cooper award. So that’s kind of how the idea was born. In addition to that, we started the Love & Love Tennis Foundation because we needed foundation."
With the power of love for the game, the foundation has raised over seventy-thousand dollars for local junior tennis programs.
"I love tennis,” Rosie said. “I think that’s the bottom line. I think anybody that does anything about the things they really care about, it’s all about the love and passion they have for the game. I remember way back when I started and I needed help. Everybody needs help to get to where they’re going and that’s why the Love & Love Tennis Foundation is there. We give grants to individual juniors. We give grants to organizations that put together either events or academies. It’s a stepping stone and I like kids. I keep saying I can’t stand kids, but obviously, everything I do seems to be for kids. You know, I’ve helped kids on and off and it’s great. Not all of them turn pro but they get to colleges and they utilize their tennis. They come back, you get to see them and know that you’ve been a part of all that. So, tennis is a game for a lifetime. For me, it’s a passion."