Our final 2023 volunteer spotlight features Rocky Cheung. Read on to learn more about Rocky and why he decided to become a volunteer with ONFE. When asked about Rocky, Pat Lacasse, Head of Health & Physical Education and Languages at Colonel By SS, wrote:
“Rocky Cheung has been coaching the Colonel By tennis team in his retirement. It’s been at least ten years since he started, and he only missed during Covid, when tennis wasn’t offered. If it weren’t for him, we wouldn’t have been able to offer a tennis program, which regularly runs to the max size allowed of 24, plus alternates. He’s autonomous, and the tennis players love him!”
Tell us a little bit about yourself
Growing up in Hong Kong, I developed a passion for sports, where I enjoyed soccer and scuba-diving as a youth. Accordingly, I am a firm believer that sport strengthens body, mind and spirit. It was after moving to Ottawa several decades ago that I picked up tennis. My son, Philip, who attended Colonel By Secondary School, and competed at the International and National level in his junior tennis years, eventually played NCAA Division I tennis at Brown University in Rhode Island, USA. It was during this period that my enthusiasm for coaching was sowed.
What made you decide to volunteer with VIE?
I have been involved in community tennis since the 90s, serving as the voluntary Junior Chairman of the NCTA to promote and develop junior tennis in the National Capital region. In 2017, my efforts were recognized when I received the “Volunteer Certificate of Appreciation” for my contributions to the development of tennis at the Ottawa Athletic Club by “Les Internationaux de Tennis de Gatineau.”
When I was first approached by a teacher at Colonel By 15 years ago to help out as the tennis coach, I was enthusiastic and eager to support the team. I have been coaching the team ever since, and I have learned a lot from my tennis students throughout my volunteer years. Our CB players are respectful, motivated, and disciplined, and many of them have gone on to achieve big goals and make a difference in society.
What is your personal philosophy on life?
My philosophy on life is that sports, including tennis, promote fitness, strength, and social interactions. Tennis has been cited as “The Sport for a Lifetime,” and it is rewarding to see our students enjoying the sport as part of their high school experience. Tennis can be played at all ages and skill levels, and I believe that it is an essential activity that can help people lead a happier and healthier life.
If you are interested in volunteering with ONFE’s Volunteers in Education, please visit our program page.