Meet The Neighbors introduces you to some of the remarkable people who live and work in the Baton Rouge area. Do you know someone we should meet? E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org and keep up with Meet The Neighbors, follow us on Tumblr.
Carlos Roldan came to Baton Rouge from Argentina more than ten years ago. He started playing tennis at the age of nine, and started competing by age 13. By the time he was 18 he was competing semi-pro and coaching on the side, which took away from his training time. He loved to coach so much that he decided to stop competing and coach full time. In 1998, after coaching for many years, it turns out he had something new to learn.
"By accident I received a flier for something called wheelchair tennis that I’ve never seen before, even though I’ve played tennis all my life, never seen before. So I approached the person who gave me the flier and that’s how it started," Roldan says. "I went there one time to see their practice and I really was impressed with what they do and how they do it, and the coach told me 'Would you be interested in coaching some players?' and I said 'Well, absolutely, but I don’t know much about this, and he told me 'If you know how to coach tennis you can start' and that’s how it started."
Now, Roldan coaches wheelchair tennis every Saturday at BREC’s Highland Park. He’s also helped kickstart similar programs elsewhere in the state. He teaches beginners, intermediate and advanced, with students as young as six, and as old as 65.