We continue honoring Hispanic Heritage Month by recognizing tennis champion, Rosie Casals, as she tells us about some of her tennis career and how she continues to honor her Hispanic heritage.
Casals says, “My background. My parents are immigrants from San Salvador. And I was born and raised in San Francisco to, as you well know, Latinos, you know, lots of parties, lots of social gatherings. So that part of it is always fun for me. I have a pretty large family, lot of cousins and aunts and uncles, I have three sisters. But I’m the only one that plays tennis.”
Growing up surrounded by family in Northern California, Casals was deeply rooted in her culture, so much so that her native tongue is Spanish, which proved to create challenges as she started her tennis career.
Casals shares her struggles not speaking English at first, and how it made an impact on her as she entered a sport that was known to be very elitist.
When discussing Hispanic Heritage Month Casals says her ancestry is treasured and something to be celebrated.
Casals also introduces special elements of Hispanic culture to youth in the Coachella Valley through the tennis clinics she helps run by stating, “I went to the tennis gardens here at Indian Wells, and we had about 150 kids come out and we did this with Southern California Tennis Association, and the Pancho Gonzalez Foundation. We invited all the kids to come out and they were bused out and we had a wonderful time on and off the court.”
Aside from her merited tennis career and the Love and Love Foundation, Casals wants people to know she’s proud of herself, family, and culture.
Casals will be honored with the Pioneer Award by the Greater Coachella Valley Hispanic Chamber of Commerce at the IMPACTO Business and Community Awards on October 13.