The Surprise Tennis & Racquet Complex has come alive over the long weekend, as merchandise and local business tents, ice cream stands and kettle corn vendors line the sidewalks around the tennis courts for the kids and their parents.
One particular tent that has had a constant flow of customers; and though no money is exchanged, peace of mind and body proves just as valuable to players at the Jr. Team Tennis National Championships.
This is the tent of USTA Trainer Reiko Takahashi.
With extensive medical equipment and first aid supplies on hand, Reiko has mended the scrapes and relieved the overworked muscles of the 14 & under players competing in this weekend’s tournament.
"This is the first time I am working at the Jr. Team Tennis National Championships and it’s been such a great experience thus far," said Reiko. "I’ve been able to not only provide medical assistance to the youth players here in Surprise, but I’ve had the opportunity to educate the kids on how to prevent these injuries from reoccurring in the future."
Reiko has been a trainer for the USTA Women’s Pro Circuit for three years and she continues to treat some of the best women’s tennis players in the world. In addition, Reiko also works within the Medical Services division of the U.S. Olympic Committee where she continues to broaden her level of experience as a trainer.
"I enjoy working with athletes of all different ages and skill levels," said Reiko. "Whether it’s a youth tennis player or a Pro who’s been in the industry forever, there is always a chance for me to continue to learn and find the best treatment methods for every athlete."
Reiko graduated from the University of Arkansas in 2007 where she earned her degree and certification to work as an athletic trainer. Committed to helping others, Reiko hopes to earn an advanced degree in the near future so she can expand upon her level of patient services.
"My goal would be to go back to school and eventually work as a physical therapist," said Reiko.
With more than 200 athletes competing for the National title, Reiko has the responsibility of treating any and all injuries, accidents and surprises that may happen along the way.
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