This past Monday morning at 1:00 am I picked them up at Logan airport. Maryna and her 16 year old son, Timur were waiting each with one medium bag of luggage and a set of golf clubs. They had flown in from Washington from Frankfort and departed from Bucharest, Romania, after taking a northern train from Sophia, Bulgaria. Before leaving Bucharest with his Mom, Timur was anxiously awaiting for her as she had taken a train from Kiev to meet him in Sophia, Bulgaria where he was staying safely with friends. From there they traveled back to Bucharest to fly to Frankfort. A United States Traveler was giving his air miles to Ukrainians.
Maryna showed me a picture of a flat that had been destroyed next to hers. The destruction in the city is appreciating daily as missiles land on homes. The city is a ghost town. The club where she managed several sports and coached tennis is now a Russian Command Center. Three million citizens populated Kiev. Not now. The Russian ground forces do not enter the city as they suffer great losses when they attempt to take it.
Timur is in the process of contacting golf courses in the area
and has made progress. I have a contact who is working on this. He may be teaching to juniors and training. He is listed as a scratch golfer and the number one ranked Ukrainian junior in the 16’s. He was was getting ready for international competition when the war began. Maryna worked from 7 am to 9 or 10 pm at night to fund his golf and extra schooling to learn English which he speaks quite well.
Maryna was former top five in Russia as a junior tennis player. Timur is an exceptional tennis player as well, but his first love is golf.
I’m learning a bit of Russian which is easily understood by Ukrainians. Learning Russian as an American is easier than learning the difficult annunciations of the Ukrainian language. They both enjoy my Coon Hound, Mandy and have met my son, Eric who lives with me. Eric is a tennis pro for the Marion Indoor Tennis Club, Menauhant Yacht Club, and the Boy's Tennis Coach at Falmouth High. This morning we ate rice with milk and sugar, bread with cheese and boiled eggs. It was explained to me that rice with milk is good for digestion and that left over food is given to the dog as a meal and given to stray dogs that roam Ukraine. Also, they compost for gardens. Timur, when seeing the heavy rain said to me, "Don't throw the dog into that." It is a Ukrainian saying that speaks of how one might discuss bad weather of the day. I had to explain that my dog dog has her own special food for sensitive stomach and skin. I could hardly explain it without holding back laughing. And they said the dog they had ate bread with cheese, rice with milk and boiled eggs. Nothing was ever wasted and their dog also enjoyed pizza from time to time.
I reached out to Oleksii, my tennis contact from the Ukraine who when we last spoke was in Chernivtsi. Chernivtsi is a border town to Romania. He’d like to be on the other side of the border but realizes he must stay. He has not signed into "the office" where you will immediately go into fighting service. He has not broken any law, it's not something he wants to sign up for and yet he cannot leave the country.
He is involved with some some sort of service in the town but of what I do not know.
He has already shared incredible information regarding the assessment of the war from inside the country. He’d rather be teaching tennis. I hope to hear from him again soon.
I'll update more later.
The world got smaller. I’m in the process of locating a Ukrainian family to my home for a few months, to give them a breath of air. She was huddled in an Kiev underground shelter with her sister when we first spoke. Her 16 year old son, Timur was in Sophia, Bulgaria. She was the Tennis Director of a great club and former top five in Russia, and her son, the number one golfer of the Ukraine. They already had visa’s for travel. Maryna is an international tennis coach (ITF). I’ll update their progress soon. She left her sister in Keiv and is trying to get her out. Maryna took a midnight train to Romania and then to Sophia, Bulgaria, just in time. She had something most don’t, a visa!
I'm also talking to a good pro named Oleksii via email who can't get out. He’s on the Romanian border. He hasn’t had to fight yet. I’ll share with you our conversations:
I’m a tennis professional from the United States, located on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, on the East Coast.
I googled tennis coaches and found you there in the Ukraine.
Are you safe? Did you leave the country. I’m worried for the people of the Ukraine. Perhaps you or some other coach (male or female) needs help leaving if they choose. Or a place to stay if coming to the United States.
Hello, Kevin! Nice to hear from you. Don't want to describe you what I passed these days. Now I stay alone with my friend at Ukrainian border. I was lucky to move my parents, girlfriend and friends parents abroad in EU. I can't cross the border because of the Presidents law, he said if you have a war or some weapon experience pls join army or some territory defence group. I never hold a weapon in my hands. In Kiev I had my own club at outdoor courts, dreamt to built an indoor club there, right in Kiev. I had many students in Ukraine, all over the world, some familys close to goverment. I became a Bidi Badu tennis clothes distributor in Ukraine. Never worked on a club. Now I'm lost everything. I just moved everybody I can to the border, now I'm alone and feel bad and lost everything. I want to go back home but further it goes less chances to come back, seems will have huge damages, but I will see. Waiting for opportunity to cross the border and I'll ask for the help to work maybe. Thank you for the message.
I understand your position.
Please contact me if I can help any of your friends or family that need a place to stay outside of the Ukraine.
If you need a place to stay if you leave let me know. You are always welcome.
I pray for you and your country.
Also, if you need to email. You can anytime.
Are you safe Oleksii?
I'm still in Chernivtsi, close to the border, with my friends. Waiting for the Buelorussian invasion today. Hope that it's fake. Thank you for the message. Want to cross the border but I can't...
ср, 9 мар. 2022 г., 15:38 Kevin Pease Tennis Professional <firstname.lastname@example.org>:
Keep yourself safe a possible. Hopefully this war ends soon. Are you going to stay near the border.
Sent from my iPhone
Yes, i'm going to stay close to the border at least for 1 more month. Will try to work here to have money for food and leaving, but tennis is not popular here at all. I never served in Army, no sence for me to go there, im much productive in other way, in peacfull time. Lets wait, maybe they will open borders, or maybe it will be peace soon, who knows. But longer we stay here, longer our expectations for a war duration. If it wont stop this month we expect 1 year minimum of the war duration, and it couses much more troubles to leave normal life.Turkey doesnt do any sanctions to Russia. Russians has many jet and we dont. Total amount 450 russians airplanes, only around 50 are down ny our forces. Many legioners all over the world coming to ukraine, professionals, thats bery good. My cousin leaves in Chernigiv cant leave the country... Will keep you in touch what is happening.
вс, 13 мар. 2022 г. в 01:37, Kevin Pease Tennis Professional <email@example.com>:
Thank you for the update. I’m glad your are not in the middle of this war. Can they make you fight?
All my friends that had army courses in university and went to military registration office after some sort courses going to fight. All of my friends who wanted to fight and has experience - already there. So the situation for now is like nobody catch you on a street but if you come to the office you will probably go fighting and 100% will go fighting if you was in army or had courses in University. Now it seems that This war will last for a long time... Can't believe
вс, 13 мар. 2022 г., 22:33 Kevin Pease Tennis Professional <firstname.lastname@example.org>:
Saint Patrick’s Day
Can you get out of the Ukraine?Your country cannot keep up with this invasion over time.
No, can't leave the country, and know when I'll be able to do it.As I hear all the information we are going to win in this war. The coloumm movement not effective, javelin destroys it very easy, from 113 shots from javelin 100 are in the aim, this is a record of javelin usage. Last days we got stinger, so now on low altitube we destroy many airplanes. New help from USA provides us with higher alritude anti airplane systems. Russia is running out from airplanes. And that's it, So 2-3 weeks and they will need to go away from the Ukraine. That what analytics said, and it looks like true.
But that's what it should be only if putin won't do any dirty thing. We are very afraid of nuclear bomb, and many people who feel putin said that this is a question of time, strikes will go on USA also. So maybe, its better for you to go on vacation to Australia for some time, but I hope that some people won't let him do it. I hope it won't happen.
I’m glad that you still are okay.
Your assessment is lucid, quite logical.
I pray for the world. Some day we will meet when this is over.
I’ll stay in contact with you.
Thank you, Kevin! Can't wait when it's going to be over and we will be able to travel all over the world. One day we will meet for sure.
пт, 18 мар. 2022 г., 08:10 Kevin Pease Tennis Professional <email@example.com>:
Note: I’ll keep you updated here at KPST.
Recently my son, Sean- my doubles partner for summer grass courts, sent me a text-- Dad, we are number one in New England for Senior Father Son and number nine National for 2021. It was great news. I had no idea how they figure this stuff. We were a match point away from being number two in the country, he said. And now we are at our clubs, teaching for those who believe we offer something of value during a conflicted time in the history. Tennis gives us a meditation that is never lost no matter what circumstances come our way--personal struggles, injuries, health, pandemics, or wars. We look to the Spring with hope for grass tennis court competitions, stronger minds, bodies and spirit and firm resolve to improve ourselves (on and off the court).
Everyone receives challenges in life. It's how we deal with the “at bat” that defines us. As I look back down the bumpy road I live I feel gratitude. They say that if you stay in one place long enough the whole world passes you by. It’s true. The secret to life is bringing it to you and then, taking it with you! There’s grass at Longwood, Newport, and in New York, the bike rides to the Sports Center, Harbor Head, West Falmouth Ball Park, and the beach runs with Mandy (my Coon Hound running mate) and Cal, my grand dog puppy of Kara’s.
I've been teaching tennis since the summer of 1977 as a graduate of Falmouth High on Cape Cod. Not getting cut my freshman year was my goal. My training regime included hitting on a backboard daily for hours on the public courts in West Falmouth and hitting with anyone who showed up. The sound of tennis balls were constant during the seventies. I would set up matches every night on the phone. Being a tall lefty with a good serve and volleys, doubles became my forte. My high school doubles partner, Jim Estes (owner of the Landfall in Woods Hole) and I made it to the quarter finals of the south section in Brockton of my senior year.
That fall I attended the University of Massachusetts, Amherst where I barely walked (recovering from mono) on a Division 1 tennis team. There must have been 60 players who tried out and were 50 tennis courts on campus. I made it to the last cut and was told - "Pease you’re cut!” I asked Coach Steve Williams (former #1 at Virginia and a traveling pro for the New England Nets) if I could help in practice by feeding balls and hitting serves to players. He agreed. That year I moved up the team ladder to the top 12 and received a letter. By my senior year I finished my college career at #6 singles for one day, despite an ACL injury, and received a degree in Sport Management.
In the Fall of 1982 I took a Tennis Directorship of the Falmouth Sports Center and created five amazing children over the years. My oldest Scott, taught tennis for me and has sadly passed, Eric USPTA now teaches at the Marion, MA Indoor and the Menauhant Yacht Club, Sean USPTA at Cedardale in Haverhill, MA, Kara USPTA with me in Falmouth, and Matt, who lives in Charleston, S.C., works and is a part-time student.
Billie Jean King!
We met and coached at a Team Tennis Clinic sponsored by Dominos Pizza, in Danvers, Ma, where we coached the volley station together. Again we met as fellow USTA High Performance classmates in Chicago. Billie believes in team and having men and women compete together. Remember her and Bobby Riggs playing for battle of the sexes?
Vic founded his own teaching academy for teaching pros and offered adult tennis camps. His slogan was that he could make you "famous by Friday". Vic was personable, made you laugh, and used biomechanics before it was an industry. I taught for Vic at his adult summer tennis camps for adults in New Seabury on Cape Cod, Ma.
Dennis Van Der Meer!
Dennis founded the USPTR. I studied for my teaching certification and worked my way up to a National Tester for teaching pros and established the PTR New England as it’s first President. Dennis’ teaching progressions has helped my ability to teach large groups.
“From what we get, we can make a living; what we give, however, makes a life!”
This quote is from Arthur. He commanded the audience of teaching pros with great respect and thoughtfulness. I met Arthur on Hilton Head, S.C. while attending a PTR conference where I played the National PTR open singles and doubles.
I have certification's and awards from the USPTA, USPTR, USTA High Performance, and Wilson.
Throughout the years I've held New England and National USTA rankings, including #1 Father Son and Father Daughter in New England (Current), #1 National Senior Father Son New England (Current), #19 National Father Son, and #1 Doubles in Men's 45 Doubles in New England. Playing family tennis is a huge part of my life! We always try to get a hit in.
Doubles is a great game. You are part of a team.
Do you remember the first day you played? My mother took me to the courts with wood racquets that cost not much more than a metal can of tennis balls. I remember being 10 years old and experiencing my first attempt to he hit the ball back and forth with no idea of form. My mother could hit it pretty well and just hitting inside the lines was a challenge. There were no points.
Set the ball machine on the side of the court, not in the middle of the court. Most of the time in tennis you are hitting the ball cross court, both in singles and doubles.
Get your first serve in.