He picked up picked up his first tennis racket at age 7. This week in #StudentSpotlight Matthew a.k.a ‘Batman’

Matthew picked up his first tennis racket at age seven.  At the age of eight, he began spending a few hours each day at the local tennis rec. center. Recognizing Matthew’s increased interest and passion for the game, Mr. B (his father) and Mrs. B (his mom) wanted to expose Matthew to a more “professional” training environment, and that is when they found HAT!

Matthew a.k.a Batman
Matthew a.k.a Batman

We want him to play tennis pro. He loves tennis. His life is tennis.

While there are many caring parents who wish sports stardom for their children, there are really few who understand all of the hard work, investments, sacrifice, and drive that is required to succeed in any professional sport.   In fact, Mr. B., had dreams of becoming an acrobat/artistic performer himself for the traveling circus in his birth nation of Mongolia.  But, he was deterred by an unfortunate accident at age 4 that resulted in serious back injuries.  Similarly to Mathew, Mr. B was passionately and determinedly focused on his circus acts, and after four years of purposeful preparation and dedicated training he managed to make his dream come true.  Unfortunately, seven years into performing in his beloved circus Mr. B had to retire due to his ever-present back injury.  However, as he is often sharing, “I had fun and lived those years wholeheartedly happy”.

In 1999, Mr. B migrated to the United States.  After leaving the circus it was hard for him to find work in Mongolia due to the uncertainty of the political climate.  Drawn to the peaceful life in America, Mrs. B soon followed and joined Mr. B in 2001.  They haven’t returned to Mongolia since – they have found America to be a good place… a home with many advantages and possibilities for the future of their children.

Matthew came to love tennis… the game, the players, and everything connected to it.  He puts in tremendous effort and works purposefully every day to become the best player that he can be.  “It’s a good way to exercise.  It makes me happy!”  If you ask him who his favorite player is, he is likely to answer Roger Federer.  “Federer is a strong hitter and has great footwork.  I love his forehand.”  Even at a young age, Matthew has set his sights very high.  He wants to win many titles, such as Wimbledon and the French Open!

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I believe HAT is definitely a hidden gem on a national scale

Starting this week, every Monday we will be giving the spotlight to one of our Staff members who, inch by inch gives their full support to our organization. They will also be sharing their experience among the younger generations. This week we are highlighting the profile of Brian Lindberg – HAT Tennis Teaching Professional.

Brian Lindberg- HAT Tennis Teaching Professional
Brian Lindberg- HAT Tennis Teaching Professional

Brian Lindberg is originally from Colorado and started playing tennis at the age of 5 years old. Brian developed into an elite junior player in Minnesota eventually achieving a college scholarship to the College of St. Scholastica where he was selected to the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference All-Conference team for both athletics and academics.

Brian completed his internship at High Altitude Tennis in 2013 and soon after was awarded the Men’s and Women’s coaching job at Ripon College in the fall of 2013. Realizing his passion was in helping top junior scholars learn the life lessons required to be successful at the collegiate level and beyond, he returned to High Altitude Tennis in 2015. Brian loves photography and climbing 14ers. He also has earned the nickname “storm” for his very accurate weather reports.

Brian’s View on HAT:

“I believe HAT is definitely a hidden gem on a national scale.  The system that is taught here, the strength training and conditioning, and the individualized attention given to every student combines to offer a level of improvement unparalleled by other programs in the nation.  I’ve not only seen our system work here but also in my time teaching in Wisconsin.  The HAT method is capable of holding its own at every level of the game.  The HAT Fund is a great compliment to HAT as well allowing juniors access to a program like ours that they might not have otherwise had.

HAT Fund Event Series HF Community Development BOSTON

The Hat Fund, Inc
The Hat Fund, Inc

Boston, Massachusetts: The HAT Fund will be hosting a series of Meet-and-Greet Fundraisers in major cities throughout the U.S. in 2015 and have scheduled one for Tuesday, July 21, 5:30 – 7:30 pm at Stella Restaurant, 1525 Washington Street in Boston’s South End.

The HAT Fund is dedicated to creating pathways to success through sports and education by assisting underserved aspiring young scholar athletes to ensure that they have the opportunities, guidance and tools to flourish on and off the court. Leslie Segelke, co-owner with her husband Ryan of High Altitude Tennis in Parker, Colorado, founded the HAT Fund.

“I’ve recognized the students we work with in addition to being passionate, driven athletes are burgeoning young leaders eager to learn what is necessary to take full advantage of life’s opportunities”, states Leslie. “I’ve also felt the frustration of being unable to help so many kids with that glimmer in their eye…wanting so desperately to be given the best chance to succeed…and willing to make the sacrifices that great success requires. That frustration, or the unwillingness to give in to obstacles, gave life to the HAT Fund.”

To help make this fundraiser available to everyone interested, the cost of admission is $20, which includes one complimentary beverage, hors d’oeuvres and great company. Raffle tickets will also be sold at the door for $5 each for the chance to win 2 box seat tickets to the 2016 ATP Tour at the Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island. There will also be a silent auction where attendees can bid on sports memorabilia, restaurant gift certificates and exciting other gift items. A short presentation about the HAT Fund will be included, but the evening is more about meeting other tennis and sports minded people in the Boston area.

To date, HAT has donated more than $75,000 to provide scholarships and educational resources for up-and-coming junior tennis players from around the world.

For additional information about the Boston Meet- and-Greet, please contact:

Ryan Segelke at ryan@highaltitudetennis.com or Gary Briggs at gbriggs@auntsadiesinc.com.

For information about the HAT FUND, please contact Leslie Segelke at leslies@thehatfund.org.

The HAT FUND, INC is a recognized 501(c)(3) organization. All donations are tax-deductible.

Event Date: JULY 21, 2015 5:30pm-7:30pm

Venue: STELLA RESTAURANT

For Tickets, Click here http://www.eventbee.com/v/hfeventboston

Hurray! The Summer Camp Season is here

As we all know that summer has come and its the month of June when most of the kids are looking out for a place to cool off. This is the only time when there is a need to learn extra curriculum activities. Here, where High Altitude Tennis LLC in collaboration with The Hat Fund, Inc comes into limelight.

We as an expertise in the world of tennis have professional coaches and the best infrastructure where your kids not only learn tennis but basic ethics, education as well as how to be the best in the world of competition. Every year we hold events form awards ceremony for the scholar athlete to the training camps.

DaVarryl Williamson with the Leadership Awardee Trace Collins at HAT Community Celebrations
DaVarryl Williamson with the Leadership Awardee Trace Collins.
Rachel Davis, PHD distributing awards among our young athlete for their performances at HAT Community Celebration
Rachel Davis, PHD distributing awards among our young athlete for their performances.

This year we kick started from the HAT Community Celebrations held on Sunday, 31st May 2015, following the Summer Camp started on June 1st 2015 at SUMMER ACADEMY at METRO STATE UNIVERSITY, Denver, Colorado.

High Altitude Tennis is excited to announce that we are proud to have partnered with Metro State University and we will be running our elite summer camps at the brand new, state of the art Recency Sports Complex.

The Campus

The Regency Sports Complex will provide an ideal setting for this years summer camps. With 8 tennis courts located on a sprawling 12-acres including a brand new lounge where we will have our daily lunches, this will certainly be the elite tennis camp to attend in 2015.

The High Altitude Tennis Summer Academy is one of a kind combining a specialized coaching methodology; stroke mechanics, player tactics and match strategies, with a conditioning and injury prevention program in the most rigorous training environment available. In short our development method works and we can prove it! However, what we are most proud if is our ability to build trust with each individual student which allows tennis to be our vehicle to teach the life lessons required to be tomorrows leaders and powerful contributors to society.

For Registration, Kindly click on the link : http://www.highaltitudetennis.com/summer-registration/ 

Share your inspirational stories at #hatfundstories on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, google plus.

For Media Contacts:

Raghav Kohli, Email-id: raghav.kohli18@gmail.com.

Making a Difference is not a Numbers Game

How making a difference for one child in a community can positively affect the entire community.

Leslie Segelke, Executive Director, The HAT FUND, INC.
Leslie Segelke,

At The HAT FUND we focus very strongly on making a meaningful lasting difference for each child.  This is very expensive and very time consuming but extremely worthwhile.  It is a focused effort to ensure no one falls through the cracks.  There are tremendously successful programs that are quite large and do wonderful things for huge numbers of people but at The HAT FUND we are an organization that puts a great deal of time and energy, and love into each and every child, family, community.   It grows from the seed.  We have to nourish our seedlings far better in this country… in this world. – L.S.

Where would the human civilization be today if all those from our earliest ancestors to today’s leaders were to resign themselves to never being able to make a difference in the World? Honestly we cannot reach an answer to that question because we are subconsciously living in a zone of comfort that was actually created by those, before us, who thought of us and made a difference to the lives we lead today.

Unfortunately making a difference is lots and lots of hard work. Giving away money in charity is easy but the responsibility that comes with judiciously using those charitable funds that have been received is not at all easy.  Though it may not seem so to a person outside, the task of the person entrusted with dispensing those charitable funds is extremely heart-breaking.  To an outsider, it may seem that handing over money or material is easy because they are so many who are so needy in our society that one can’t go wrong. Instant or one-off gratification is indeed easy to achieve.

From my personal experience, I can state that making a difference that lasts a life-time, not merely for that moment, to just one person from a broken home or much worse without a home, is a huge task. But, thankfully it is the most satisfying one too.

As a non-profit organization, we have two choices – do we thinly spread our efforts and resources over several or do we make a life-changing impact on a few. When we do the former, the results from that thinly-spread effort often wear off very quickly. Whereas when we do the latter, the impact often triggers several positives of much longer-lasting value. We can compare the former to air-dropping food to a disaster-struck community (it most likely only reaches the young and healthy males) and the latter to setting-up a base kitchen which has the capability of catering equally to all.

At Hat Fund, we focus on and practice more of the latter – providing impactful life-changing support to the needy child, which empowers the child’s ability to sustain independently and in the long-term rise above threshold of the needy and finally attain the status of a giver!

However, the pursuit of our goal of delivering a focused impactful difference to each child invites criticism that we ignore the larger good of the community’s needs. Such criticism is certainly not true because it is our sincere intention to leave no needy behind. Every person in need is a person of interest to us. However making a difference is not a numbers game.

At The HAT Fund, we do not claim to take on a universal burden; we take on those needy who are within sight of our community. There are ways and ways to uplift the needy; we have taken on to uplift the needy through an eco-system of imparting skills to play tennis at the highest levels with equal parts of academic achievements.

Even though we run outreach programs, we have no magic tool that brings into our line-of-sight every needy person.
Therefore we do learn, albeit belatedly, that some very needy may have missed our attention. Such a loss of the opportunity to make a difference saddens us at The HAT Fund immensely. Any student of social sciences will tell you that the most vulnerable are also often socially the most invisible; thus are frequently bypassed by conventional development efforts.

At the heart of our efforts is enriching the personality, nourishing the dreams and improving the latent skills of every needy youngster that comes our way, so that they can soon rise above the class of the needy and graduate to a class of self-sustaining individuals. No effort, time or resources are spared by us on this account. The results we have achieved are immensely encouraging and speak for themselves. A.A.