Tim Tiue and Helen Dangtran
The COVID-19 pandemic put tennis on hold for many when InShape management restricted access and tennis play at their sports clubs in 2020. But some stepped forward to find a way. Tim Tieu and his wife Helen Dangtran were two who seized the initiative and made tennis possible for many.Since tennis is an outdoor sport, they recognized the opportunity to play on courts available around the community.Tim and Helen initially started playing with people in their bubble, like family members. After a while, they polled players from their recent past to see if they would be interested in forming a friendly mixed doubles tennis league. It would be a great way not only to stay healthy and active but also to improve their game. Since tennis was new to many in their group, the proposed league would also offer an opportunity to meet new people with different styles of play.The initial 12 player mixed doubles league (6 males and 6 females) lasted six weeks and was a great success. So successful that they followed up with a 24 player mixed doubles league (12 males and 12 females), picking up players through word of mouth. Again, a major success.These ad hoc mixed doubles leagues kept their group busy until USTA league play started again in 2021. Tim jumped in to captain the men’s 40+ 3.0 team and Helen was the strength of the women’s 40+ 2.5 team with an 8-1 record. Both teams (home-based at Centennial Park) won their league playoffs and competed at the NorCal Sectional Championships in Sacramento.Thank you, Tim and Helen, for making it happen!