The nicer the weather is, the more time we should be spending outdoors. Breath in the fresh air, take in some sun and enjoy two great events this month.
Let’s Move Outside and Go Fishing will take place at Veterans’ Memorial Park Fishing Pond on Saturday, April 14th, with registration beginning at 7:30 am and fishing starting at 8 am. Loaner equipment is provided while supplies last and fishing assistance is available. You can take advantage of casting lessons and learn about aquatic species in our region. A Nevada fishing license is required for anglers 12 and over. Get your pole and let’s go fishing.
April 21st is the first Jimmie Lopez Memorial Tennis Tournament. The tournament will take place at Broadbent Memorial Park tennis courts. Registrations are being accepted now through April 5th at the Recreation Department at 900 Arizona Street. Registrations received by April 5th are $15, afterwards it’s $20. Registrations will also be accepted on the day of the tournament at 7 am. Pre-registration includes a T-shirt, snacks and a meal, compliments of Panda Express.
Jimmie Lopez was a Recreation Department tennis instructor in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. I knew Jimmie was an excellent instructor and coach. What I didn’t know is just know dedicated he was to his students and how much he impacted their lives. This memorial tennis tournament was the brainchild of former Jimmie Lopez student Katy (Nash) Kinney. As a volunteer, Katy will be managing all aspects of the tournament. We would like to thank Katy for her efforts.
As parents, we all pray that our children are blessed with positive people in their lives who inspire them to be the very best they can be. This is what Jimmie Lopez did for Katy Kinney. Jimmie influenced her life in a way that no one else had.
The story of how Jimmie Lopez impacted Katy’s life is an amazing example of how one coach can impact a person’s life. Years after that connection, Katy is now bringing Jimmie’s love for tennis back to the community for everyone to enjoy.
For further information, please call 702-293-9256 or visit bcnv.org.
A Special Message from Katy Kinney
I began taking lessons with Jimmie in the summer of 1997 through the BC Parks and Recreation classes. I had never picked up a tennis racquet until I met Jimmie. He taught me everything I know about playing and loving the game of tennis. I started to take private lessons with Jimmie while still taking his classes. I practiced with him and the BCHS girl’s team. During his summer and winter camps I started to teach the children that came and slowly began to work for Jimmie as an assistant coach during his camps.
When I was a freshman at BCHS I joined the girl’s tennis team and played both singles and doubles. Jimmie was a person who loved to play tennis and wanted those he was teaching to love the game too. He was there to be your coach and mentor. He was more than a coach to me. Jimmie taught me that if I wanted to be good at the sport I needed to work hard. There were days I was so mad at Jimmie for making me repeat the same stupid drill over and over again, especially since I just didn't seem to be getting the concept of what it was he wanted me to learn. I did the drills though and am so thankful that I never got frustrated to the point of just giving up. Those drills gave me the best patience, endurance and motivation on the courts when I played. He told you when you were making mistakes and told you when you recognized the right movements. He was straightforward with things but that is what a good coach does. He was not there to be your friend but he became a good friend of mine. Even though I took a season off so I could run for the BCHS track team Jimmie would always run over from the courts when we had a home meet and be cheering me on at the finish line for my first race. While I was looking for colleges to attend I knew that I wanted to try and continue to play tennis. Jimmie helped me out immensely! Not only on the courts but he contacted the coaches of the schools I was applying to and spoke with them regarding me and playing for their school. He also wrote me some wonderful letters of recommendations that I sent in with my applications. In the end I went on to play tennis at the collegiate level at the University of La Verne in La Verne, CA. I played for all four years until I graduated. My coach in college always told me that he never really had to coach me when I was playing. All he had to do was walk by my court and check the score. He knew that I could coach myself but if I did need advice on my game I would ask him. I owe all of that to Jimmie! After Jimmie died, I finished playing that season in college for him. To this day, every time I step on the courts, I can still hear Jimmie telling me what I need to do to play my best!
It is such an honor to be able to continue Jimmie's love for tennis and be able to celebrate the passion he taught so many people. Jimmie was loved by many and I could not imagine what my life would have been like if I never picked up that racquet with Jimmie and the impact he had on my life as a coach and friend. I am so thankful to have been a part of his life and continue to be in his family's. I loved Jimmie and his family so much and want them to know that he will always be alive on the courts when we play the way he taught us to play.