Rendé Encourages Inclusiveness and Service Through Tennis

By Caitlin T. Burns | January 30, 2020

Pam Rendé

Head Coach, Men’s and Women’s Tennis
2019 United States Tennis Association Middle States Edwin J. Faulkner College Coach of the Year
Advice to students: “Use these four years to explore and really learn the different things that you might have an interest in, because you don’t know until you’re afforded the opportunity to try them. If you’re not sure about studying abroad, do Preview, it’s a fantastic opportunity to travel the world. Get out there and see what it’s like.”

Pam Rendé knows it takes dedication, strength, and hard work to achieve your goals. As a child, she broke the fourth vertebrae in her neck at swimming practice, and spent the summer making a full recovery. As an adult, she completed eight triathlons and cycled in the National Multiple Sclerosis’ Bike MS150 Ride for eight years. She notes that she’s “played everything,” from softball to ice skating. 

“I’m a challenge-oriented person, so anytime I see something, whether it’s a mountain of paperwork or a mountain of snow, I want to attack it head-on,” said Rendé, head coach of both the men’s and women’s tennis teams at Arcadia. “You can achieve just about anything you put your mind to, but it takes dedication, time, fortitude, strength, and perseverance.”

Aceing Autism

Aceing Autism was founded in 2008 to connect children with autism and their families through unique tennis programs, and to continue to positively impact the communities they serve. By 2021, Aceing Autism is expected to have 80 to 90 program sites throughout the U.S. 

Volunteers are needed to support ongoing programs throughout the Philadelphia area. No tennis experience is needed.

Learn More About Volunteering.

Rende is the second female head coach of the men’s tennis program and is among the three percent of women coaches leading men’s collegiate teams, according to the National Collegiate Athletic Association. Since Rendé took over as head coach nearly four years ago, women’s tennis attended their first Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) in 2018 in nearly 10 years; men’s tennis appeared in four consecutive MAC Commonwealth Championships between 2016 and 2019; and both teams were named 2018-19 Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) All Academic Teams, with men’s taking the award home. In 2016, Nick Simeone ’20 was named MAC Commonwealth Rookie of the Year.

Rendé never thought she’d make tennis a full-time career. As an English and Studio Art major at Dickinson College, she had planned to work for her father’s interiorscaping business. However, tennis always found its way back into her life. In addition to coaching both teams at Arcadia, Rende is program director for the Philadelphia Aceing Autism program, which connects children with autism and their families through unique tennis programs, and founder and CEO of L3 Tennis based in Radnor, Pa., which has the mission of “Learn it. Live it. Love it.” 

“People always say that tennis is a country club sport,” said Rendé. “Really, it’s open to everybody. Every kid has a pair of sneakers. A can of tennis balls costs only $3, and you can borrow or purchase a racket for under $20. Tennis courts are free in the parks, so tennis is an inexpensive and accessible sport.”

As head tennis coach at Arcadia, Rendé helped build a team that is service-oriented and inclusive. Student-athletes work with Aceing Autism, as well as weekly throughout the fall or spring semester with the Raising Expectations for Academic Learning (REAL) Certificate program. Team members also volunteer to collect and restring rackets to donate to youth organizations. This year, they’ve brought the teams from the MAC division together by creating and selling pink t-shirts to support a coach at Lebanon Valley College who is battling breast cancer. 

Rendé was named United States Tennis Association (USTA) Middle States Edwin J. Faulkner College Coach of the Year for 2019, and will receive her award at a ceremony on March 22. She also received the 2018 USTA Community Tennis Association Award for L3 Tennis and its multiple tennis in the parks programs. For the team’s dedication to service, they were awarded the 2018 ITA Service of the Year Award for the Atlantic South Region.

“I like to do service through tennis because it’s a great way to show our players how they can use their sport for more than competition,” said Rendé, “to connect with others within our community.”

Rendé with her dogs Belle (left) and Yuri (right).

When Rendé isn’t building a better community of athletes, she’s helping dogs in need. In collaboration with Galgos del Sol in Murcia, Spain and the National Greyhound Adoption Program (NGAP) in Philadelphia, Rendé and her family rescue Galgo Español dogs. A cousin to the American Greyhound, Galgo Español are used as hunting dogs and are often killed at the end of the season by their owners “as good luck.”

“They’re retired athletes,” said Rendé. “Unlike here, Spain doesn’t have an SPCA or a national rescue organization. A lot of the dogs are in need of adoption.”

Rendé and her family have adopted three of the Galgo Español dogs that were rescued. Their first, Mitzi, was adopted 15 years ago from NGAP. She recalls that “she fell into our arms” because Mitzi was too weak to walk on her own. After finding out about Mitzi’s abuse and near-death experience, Rendé’s family decided to jump in full force. Now, each year they rescue eight to 10 dogs that range in age from puppies to 4-years-old. They’re flown from Spain to the United States via Iberian and Delta airlines to John F. Kennedy Airport in New York City, Newark International Airport in Newark, N.J., or Philadelphia International Airport, where Rendé’s family picks them up. NGAP then steps in to ensure that the dogs receive any additional medical attention before sending them to their forever homes. 

Rendé’s family currently has two dogs they’ve adopted: Yuri, a Galgo Español, and Belle, a retired racing greyhound from NGAP.