Fifteenth in Thailand's Tennis League Finishes First Year on Biola University's Tennis Team

Freshman Philip Westwood reflects on what it means to be a Biola athlete

Jun. 2, 2015 By Kayla Mele

Philip Westwood, Biola University freshman and men’s tennis team member, ranked 15 out of 1,000 athletes for tennis in Bangkok, Thailand. Westwood, an international student at Biola, grew up in Thailand, where his parents are missionaries, and learned to speak both Thai and English from a young age. He began playing tennis eight years ago, and during an ITF worldwide tournament in Claremont, Calif., he realized he wanted to live out his father's dream of attending Biola University.

 

In Bangkok, Westwood was nationally ranked as number 15 out of 1,000 players in his 18 and under division and was sponsored for two years by the tennis brand Solinco. Now at Biola, he is ranked number two for his singles matches and is currently working on partnering Biola Tennis with his past supporter Solinco.

 

With up to five matches per week, Westwood has found that his involvement with Biola Tennis has given him a family-like relationship with his teammates.

 

“We are on a journey together that will never be forgotten,” Westwood said.

 

Although the tennis matches can get intense, Westwood describes Biola’s approach to competition and athleticism as spreading God’s love through the sport by encouraging one another and playing to bring glory to God. He has witnessed this on his own team and through Biola athletics as a whole.  For example, the entire baseball team came to support the men’s tennis team during one of their on-campus matches. Westwood said he has found immense support from fellow Biola students, as well as the other sports teams on campus.

 

“[It’s] a community that is melded together in faith and support,” said Westwood.

 

Westwood said he looks forward to improving during the next three years while continuing to grow in relationship with his surrounding community.

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