San Diego resident, Eduardo I. Sanchez, recently dedicated the first two public tennis courts ever constructed for use by the citizens of Tecate, Mexico, at the Eufrasio Santana Sports Complex. The Mayor of Tecate, Juan Vargus Rodríguez, assisted in the proceedings. Sanchez, who initiated the tennis court construction project from inception three years ago, formally dedicated and opened the tennis center for use by Tecate youth and citizens, in the memory of his late son, Sean Eduardo Sanchez.
According to Sanchez, “I want the spirit of my son to watch over all other children who play here to enjoy these tennis courts in his name.” Sanchez played the first ball with his three-year old daughter, Siana Raquel, in remembrance of Sean, for which the Sean Eduardo Sanchez (SES) Tennis Center is named after.
Sanchez, who was born and raised in the city of Tecate, has accomplished a life-long dream to construct public tennis courts for use by the citizens of Tecate. While growing up in Tecate, Sanchez saved the money he earned as a youth while working at Rancho La Puerta, and purchased his first tennis racquet at a local swap meet at the age of 16. He taught himself to play the sport by watching the tennis pro’s play on the courts at the resort and by viewing televised matches. His long journey eventually led him to his current position as Head Tennis Professional at the Rancho Valencia Resort in Rancho Santa Fe, California, where he launched the resort’s award-winning tennis program in 1989. San-chez currently resides in the San Diego area with his wife Amelia and daughter, Siana Raquel.
Sanchez, who spearheaded the tennis court construction project from inception, raised private funds to build the courts after the city of Tecate donated the land that was formerly a paved surface, which had fallen into extreme disrepair.
Sanchez remarked, “When I looked at the location in its previous condition, I realized the need for a sports facility in my hometown. I could see a beautiful park here with tennis courts, a grassy soccer field, and basketball courts. I longed to provide the children of Tecate something that I never had when I was growing up, and it’s a privilege for me to be able to give back to all the people that have helped me over the years.”
The two tennis courts are free and open to the public, during designated hours of operation, Tuesday through Sunday: adults have access to play from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m., from 12:00 noon to 3:00 p.m., and again from 6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.; children have access to play from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon, and again from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Donated tennis racquets and balls are available for use, and tennis lessons are offered on Mondays. Sanchez donates his time to the project and regularly travels to Tecate on his days off from his position as Head Tennis Professional at the Rancho Valen-cia Resort.
There are currently 120 children enrolled in tennis lessons at the SES Tennis Center and plans are underway to expand the facility in the future, to include six additional tennis courts and other sports elements. President Vicente Fox of Mexico and First Lady Marta Fox, as well as Eugenio Elorduy Walther, Governor of the State of Baja California, have already recognized the endeavor as a model cross-border project. Additional funding for this non-profit effort is needed. For further information regarding the SES Tennis Center, please call 858/864-8536.