Tennis camp for San Miguel kids!

By Elsmarie Norby

Barry Annino came to San Miguel from Dallas with a dream: to give chances for children to learn to play tennis in our town who don’t have access to such opportunities. Barry Annino is a big guy who thinks big about giving back where he sees the chance and the need. As a child of destitute circumstances, someone gave him a tennis racquet and a few lessons. One thing led to another and Barry became a tennis coach with credentials that came from lots of luck and lots of experience.

In Dallas he also developed a passion for improving neighborhoods and creating parks – an especially beautiful one for dogs under a freeway overpass that was formerly an unremarkable place. Now graced with sculptures, murals, grass, fencing and lights, it’s a popular destination for dogs and their people companions.

Having spent several of his earlier years in Mexico, Barry has a big heart for the country and its children. Remembering what a tennis racquet did for him, he wants to help children here to realize their potential through the sport of tennis. After looking for local support in San Miguel and being disappointed with the responses, he came upon the Ojalá Niños table at the TOSMA Saturday market at Rosewood.

There was no hesitation from me, Elsmarie Norby, when Barry told me his sad story.

Ojalá Niños is a nonprofit program in the rural community of San Miguel Viejo that gives over 100 children of all ages free classes every weekday afternoon in arts, music, literacy, history, health and issues of the environment and social justice…clearly a perfect match for a guy who wants to add sports to their world!

The big plan is to make this camp a yearly, expanding event. Timing is also perfect with our Deportiva/Sports center, across from the entrance to Los Frailes on the road to Celaya. Under the direction of Alejandro Ramírez, Director de la Comisión del Deportiva de San Miguel de Allende, we have a truly wonderful place for many sports, with free classes year round. It’s beautiful, safe and accessible. Four brand new tennis courts await the children who will participate. With Efrain González being the local key person to bring all the parts/people together, we will realize the first tennis camp for 40 kids in and around San Miguel de Allende this summer, August 7, 8 and 9. Every child will be given a new racquet and have access to ongoing lessons and practice space at the sports center.

Watch for further information about “friend/fundraising” events and how you can support this great opportunity for more and more children. In the meantime, you can contact Efrain González at: and visit the Ojala Niños website for uplifting information and photos about this Blessings abound around our town!

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