Eat, Sleep and Tennis

April 16, 2014

Ayotunde AleleOne student’s passion has helped grow the CSUN Tennis Club into a competitive force.

Ask Angelenos to name their favorite sport and most would probably say baseball, basketball, hockey or football. For Southern California native Ayotunde Alele, a political science major at CSUN, the answer has always been tennis.

Ayotunde Alele, or Tunde, as he prefers to be called, developed a love for tennis at a young age. He even was introduced to CSUN through the sport; he participated in its junior tennis classes (for children ages 8-16), in which he took lessons from CSUN’s own coaches to improve his playing.

When Tunde transferred to CSUN from Pierce College, he wanted to join an NCAA Division I team in order to play tennis competitively. However, CSUN doesn’t have a men’s tennis team. Undeterred, Tunde looked elsewhere on campus for another way to fulfill his passion.

"I wanted to find a community of people who like tennis and meet other skilled players at CSUN," he says.

Soon enough he discovered the CSUN Tennis Club and the rest is history.

In fall 2013 Tunde became president of the club. Having been part of it for the past couple of years, he was thrilled at the chance to lead.

"As president, I have taken conscious steps to make the club more competitive and help it gain more respect in our school and league," he says.

Tunde built up the skills and condition of the club’s members through drills, exercises, and inter-team tournaments that allow a player to develop an edge over rival teams. He also emphasized team unity to give the club more of an identity. He organized the group by assigning specific responsibilities to each the club officers. Tunde also strategized recruitment. Now the club recruits new members early in the semester; it also screens for highly skilled and passionate individuals.

In fall 2013 the club has participated in tournaments at the University of California, Irvine, and California State University, Long Beach. Open to all CSUN students, the club meets Tuesdays and Thursdays, 5:30-8 p.m., at the CSUN tennis courts (near Student Housing).

— Melaney Christy, English major, graduating spring 2014