Eriko Castillo is in his seventh year as a full-time coach at Taylor Tennis Club, although it was aviation training that first brought the native of Mexico to Winnipeg.

Castillo did pilot training from 2000-2004 at Winnipeg Aviation in St. Andrews and also in Steinbach at Harv’s Air Flight Training. At the time he was going back and forth between Winnipeg and Mexico. He moved to Winnipeg in late 2004.

“I like the city – it’s calm,” said Castillo, who met his wife in Winnipeg. They married in 2005 and have an eight-year-old daughter.

Castillo’s primary sport growing up in Mexico was American football, which he played from the ages of six to 14.

“That’s the sport I was involved the most with in my younger years,” he said.

Castillo started playing tennis as a teenager and did some coaching in Mexico.

“I taught just a little bit in the summer seasons,” Castillo said. “That’s when I started the coaching process.”

Castillo took a tennis instructor course in Mexico. When he moved to Winnipeg he took the Tennis Canada instructor course.

“Once I took the course I was just looking for opportunities to do a little bit here, a little bit there,” Castillo recalled. “I didn’t really know how it worked here. I helped pros like George Kylar, his tennis camps, and Marcie Saifer, her adult camps, summer camps and private lessons.”

Castillo worked his way up to becoming a full-time pro at Taylor Tennis Club.

“Mario Trstenjak (at Taylor), I helped him for about a year and a half or two years, just casual, twice a week or so, and then he offered me the position,” said Castillo.

Castillo is currently taking the Club Pro 1 course. This summer he’ll be teaching the junior camps at Taylor with Jordee Matson.

Castillo said his background in English has helped him as a tennis coach in Canada. Before coming to Winnipeg he worked four to five years as an English teacher in Mexico, teaching the language to kids and adults.

“I also taught Spanish to businessmen who would come from the States,” said Castillo. “The city where I come from (in northern Mexico), there’s a lot of business involved with the States.”

For more information on Taylor Tennis Club’s summer camps, please visit the club’s website.