It is no secret that ATP World Tour players learn plenty from their experiences in professional tennis. Horia Tecau, the 2017 Arthur Ashe Humanitarian Award winner, is using those lessons to help the youth.
Tecau donated hundreds of copies of a children’s book he wrote, Life Is Like A Tennis Game, at this year’s US Open in large part thanks to an ATP ACES For Charity grant. In conjunction with the Fundatia Curtea Veche, Tecau received €15,000 earlier in 2018 to support the cause.
“When I first started thinking about making this book, it was a passion and I wanted to share it with more and more kids. I launched it in 2016 in Romanian,” Tecau said. “Because of the funds that we got from the ATP, we were able to translate it, to ship it, and to donate it here at Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day.
“I think that’s very important for a country like Romania. Seventy to 80 per cent of the country is rural. And a lot of the families in those rural places don’t have books in their houses. So together with the foundation, we’re trying to donate a lot of books in this area and raise the educational level of the country.”
The grant Tecau received is projected to benefit 5,000 children. The Romanian uses his experiences from life on the ATP World Tour to give insight to youngsters around the world through his writing.
ATP ACES For Charity: Horia Tecau
“A lot of these lessons, I had to go through a few times until I learned them,” said Tecau of trying to figure out how to balance schoolwork with playing tennis. “What I learned from my experience is that you can really do both. It just takes more time, more effort, but you need to make the effort to organise your time really well.”
Tecau’s book helps show children the importance of key values like honesty, teamwork, fair play, adherence to rules, respect for themselves and more. It also provides a guide for young people to learn how to deal with competition and how to cope with both winning and losing.
“Tennis is a learning game. You learn a lot more from your losses than when you win,” Tecau said. “So you have to approach a tennis match like you just want to make a better player, a better man out of you every day. The moment you stop doing that, you’re not doing your job as a tennis player.”