Athlete’s Profile: Renee Ren – A Future Columbia University Student

by Josh Martin

This past week I had the opportunity to talk to Renee Ren, a Junior Tennis player that is currently in the Elite Champs Tennis Program at the UBC Tennis Centre. Taught by 10-time Junior National Champion and former NCAA and ATP player Daniel Chu – the program is designed for advanced skill development for players that are competing in provincial, national, and/or international competitions.
Ren, who is a promising future Columbia University student, is currently training at the UBC Tennis Centre. She began playing at the age of 11 and has been tearing up the courts ever since.
“My dad got me into playing tennis first because he was really interested in the sport and I just started playing at a couple of courts in Vancouver. That’s how I got started.”
The 17 year-old believes that it will be challenging to orchestrate the balancing act of a busy schedule with tennis, studies, as well as a social life when she makes the move to the East Coast next year.
“The challenges are pretty extreme, it’s really tough to balance tennis and school work,” says Ren. “In addition to playing competitively I have to take a lot of honors and advanced courses such as the I.B. program. That’s definitely a big challenge. But I have a lot of support from both my friends and family.”
The Vancouverite hopes to end up in medical school with her studies at Columbia while keeping tennis close to heart – a sport in which Ren simply can’t get enough.
“[The reason I love tennis is] definitely the people I get to play with, they’re all really friendly and definitely make me feel welcome on the tennis court. [The] second thing would be just playing my game and moving around and playing points. I definitely love that challenge. That’s what keeps me coming back and playing competitively.
The level of maturity Ren possesses is evident in the humble-but-confident demeanour she speaks with – something that she shares in common with one of her favourite athletes, Roger Federer.
“[He’s my favourite] not because he won all these grand slams but it’s because the way he composes himself on the court and the way he presents himself ,” says Ren. “I really appreciate that. In addition, the way he keeps on fighting through and playing when he’s getting older shows his deep love for tennis and that really impresses me.”
Ren will be graduating High School of June 2016 before embarking on her adventures to Columbia University in the fall of next year – a journey that will shape Ren for years to come.
On behalf of the UBC Tennis Centre, we wish her all the luck.