Charlestown was overall a very good experience. I had the pleasure of staying in housing during the tournament. There are a few tournaments that offer it and it’s great to have it from time to time. My hosts were Rosie and Don. Rosie has Spanish origins and Don is American. They have a daughter who is away, studying at university, and two wonderful dogs that brightened my days.
Their house is in an amazing residential golf complex, just 5 minutes away from the courts. I forgot to mention the alligators that were walking around… Super interesting! I saw at least four. Rosie and Don took care of me like their own daughter. They cooked for me, drove me on site and took me in the city. During the evenings too, I spent time with them because the company was very relaxing. I got along so well with them and I felt very close to them, like having another family on another continent, which felt really cozy and safe.
All in all I had very pleasant experience to meet and live with people like them. These connections last a lifetime and I am happy I chose to stay in housing.
Check out below some photos with Rosie and the two adorable dogs, and the article in The Daniel Island News.
In last week’s issue of The Daniel Island News, we introduced you to the Ramey family of Daniel Island, who have been hosting players of the Volvo Car Open (VCO), formerly the Family Circle Cup, in their home for five consecutive years.
For part two of our series on VCO host families, we spoke with Rosie Compton of Lesesne Street in the Daniel Island Park neighborhood. Rosie lives with her husband Don, a partner at Price, Waterhouse, Cooper, who commutes weekly from his office in New York City. Their daughter, Kelsey, is currently a sophomore at Virginia Tech.
This year marks the Compton’s second time as a host for VCO players. For the 2017 event, they have opened their doors to 28 year old Alexandra Dulgheru of Romania. Last year, the Comptons hosted Christina McHale from New Jersey. Rosie talked with the Daniel Island News about the experience.
Q: What prompted you initially to decide to be a host?
A: There is an organization that one can sign up with if you want to host. It’s a wonderful experience. We have friends who’ve hosted tennis players. Our good friends Art Hoey and Kathleen Ferrell, a couple we know from New York, introduced us to her brother and sister-in-law, John Ferrel and Melinda Mitchell. The Ferrels had been hosting player Vania King for many years and just loved the experience. When we decided to sign on, we let Vania know and she reached out to her friends about the room we had. Christina McHale responded right away! The players really do take care of one another. We’ve loved having Christina last spring. But, this year, she’s attending her sister’s wedding, so we are hosting Alexandra. We are really looking forward to getting to know her.
Q: Do you have to adjust your daily agenda or routine in any way to accommodate your special guest?
A: Not really. They have very busy schedules and are out of the house most of the time. Volvo (Car Open) provides all the meals, so the players can stick to their busy practices as well as promotional events. I will probably host a cookout for Alexandra as well as our friends on IOP and, time permitting, may take her to dinner at the Daniel Island Club one night.
Q: What do you think the players appreciate most about families like yours opening up their homes to them?
A: I think the appeal of staying in a home as opposed to a hotel. They’ve been staying in hotels since the beginning of their tour. It’s nice to have a real home to go back to at the end of the day. Also they can do laundry, which is a real benefit. Of course, the tournament offers laundry services, but there’s nothing quite like being able to do your laundry at home. All in all, I think the opportunity to stay with a family provides a little bit of normalcy, a break from training and that very hectic touring lifestyle. Staying at a home, with a family, is just more intimate. They live quite a life. We give them a home so they can kick back and relax.
On top of it all, the Volvo Car Open is a difficult tournament – it’s the first of the matches they play on clay courts, which are a lot more demanding. They require a lot more physical effort since the ball moves more slowly. It’s not an easy transition. But I think the European players train on clay courts, so this may be an advantage for Alexandra.
Q: What do you and your family get out of the experience?
A: You’re not just a spectator. You feel more a part of the event because you get to know the players. And support them. I gather with my good friends and we go and cheer my guests on during their matches. We also get to follow them in their careers. When Christina beat Sam Stosur in Australia we sent her an email congratulating her.
Q: Do you and/or your family play tennis?
A: I’ve been playing tennis for 30 years, but my husband prefers golf. My daughter just recently started taking tennis lessons at camp and when she’s home she takes lessons as well.
Q: Do you plan to play any tennis with Alexandra when she has some downtime?
A: I wouldn’t dare! She’d wipe me off the court!
Q: What have you learned about the players by having them stay with you?
A: It’s a big decision to go on a juniors tour. The young players, especially, are faced with the question: ‘Do I go this way or that way with my career?’ But the players’ families are very supportive of them. Christina’s mom especially; Christina was homeschooled so that she could do the juniors tour.
Q: Anything else you’d like to share with readers?
A: As I tell everybody, hosting a tennis player on tour is one of the most unique things you’ll ever get to do.