After 15 years the Tennis Academy of China Sanchez-Casal is a reality in the historic city of Nanjing with the temples of six dynasty’s surrounding it, is the biggest challenge for the future of ASC.
I’m sitting here surrounded by mountains finishing the presentation for the Chinese press and the numerous audience of the Tennis Academy of China Sanchez-Casal. On my left there is Mrs. Li, President of the China Tennis Association, and on my right there is Mr. Yan from the Samaranch Foundation. The General Director of Sports from the Jiangsu province, Mr. Chen, is giving his speech about values, education, opportunities, and competitiveness. It is the third speech that conveys the same message, and listening to this key people in China I realize that our mission and years of dedication to others are the goal of any institution. I’m thinking that with a half-smile on my face.
Since I founded Academia Sanchez-Casal back in 1998 with Sergio Casal, our goal was to set-up a school in Europe (Barcelona), in the USA (Naples) and in Asia. My first trip to China was to Chengdu, after Beijing, then Singapore, tried also Shanghai. In the meantime we also visited Japan. Singapore people found out about our conversations with others and they called again. Shenzhen, and Thailanddidn’t work either.
Life always goes around and after a few months J.A. Samaranch calls me. ”We have to go to Nanjing! This is our chance! It’s an amazing venue! The government wants to make an offer!” After all these years I never thought that this could be the good one, I was not excited but my friendship with the Samaranch family and my respect for the Samaranch Foundation convinced me to make the trip to China from the US, around the world for 2 days to check another site.
This past March we started a campaign on TV and media called “Intercontinental program”, which is UNIQUE in the tennis world; 2 continents, 2 cultures, one school Sanchez-Casal. Today I am already thinking in the next campaign; 3 continents, 3 cultures, one school Sanchez-Casal.
At this moment I’m in the flight arriving to Florida and I can share with you that all the efforts during all these years putting together the centers, working hard, giving everything for the kids, is worth it and I know that this tough match is going to be remembered, because we start again and will write stories that have a positive impact on others, and this is priceless, is what give us the energy to keep fighting and win the matches. There is no better example than after so many lost sets, 15 years later ASC wins the match.