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Economic crunch pushes Rowe into coaching

Published:Wednesday | April 21, 2010 | 12:00 AM
Tinesta Rowe ... I miss home every day. My family, the way of life but I don't regret it (the move to Fresno) at all. - File

Robert Bailey, Gleaner Writer

The harsh economic climate has forced one of Jamaica's most promising female tennis players, Tinesta Rowe, to put her playing career on hold and take up the reins as the head coach of the Campion College team.

Rowe, who is still completing the final semester for her degree in Pre Business online at Fresno State University in the United States, told The Gleaner that lack of financial support and sponsorship was the main reason which led to her becoming a coach.

"My first option was to play tennis after I leave college, but with the money problem that is going on around the world, it is not looking good for me at the moment and so I had to find something to keep myself occupied," said the 24-year-old Rowe, who is a former student of Ocho Rios High.

"So I decided to help Tennis Jamaica to develop the sport in the schools across the island and I believe that this would also enhance my coaching skills."

She added: "Coaching is not something that I really wanted to do, but in life you don't always get what you want, and so you just have to stick with what you have and try to make the best of it until something better comes along for you."

A powerful right-handed player, Rowe was rated as one of the top female college tennis players in the US last year, where she was selected to First Team All-WAC in doubles and Second Team All-WAC in singles.

She also competed in the NCAA Doubles Tournament with partner Melanie Gloria, and finished her career at Fresno State tied for 12th place on the school's career wins list with 71.

Rowe, a native of Montego Bay, added that she has been enjoying her coaching duties, but she is still eager to represent Jamaica and play professionally overseas.

"I love to coach but I love playing more. I really have lots of fun doing both, because tennis is a game that I love and it doesn't matter what I am doing, I just always enjoy doing it as long as it has to do with tennis," Rowe said.

"There is also the chance of playing for Jamaica again, because as long I get some sponsors going, I will definitely be on the court again," she assured.

"I am not getting any younger, and so I have to find something else to do and stay busy, because I just can't sit around and waste my time," assessed Rowe, who has represented Jamaica in the Federation Cup.