STA Serves receives U.S Olympic Committee grant to host U.S. Paralympic Wheelchair Tennis Camps
7/3/2014, 1:03 p.m.
USTA Serves, the national charitable foundation of the United States Tennis Association (USTA), has received a grant from the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) through its Paralympic Integrated Adaptive Sports Program. As part of the grant, USTA Serves will host four camps for disabled veterans and disabled members of the United States Armed Forces who are wheelchair users. U.S. wheelchair tennis coach and retired Army officer Paul Walker will lead each camp.
Granting for this program is awarded by U.S. Paralympics, a division of the USOC, through funding provided by Veterans Affairs (VA). The grants, ranging from $13,000 to $500,000, are provided to facilitate the growth of Paralympic-sport programming for disabled veterans and disabled members of the Armed Forces.
The camps kicked off in San Antonio and Atlanta.The remaining wheelchair camps will take place this fall in Seattle, Sept. 18-21, and San Diego, Sept. 25-28. Each camp will be hosted by a local USTA Community Tennis Association in conjunction with a local VA hospital.
The camps consist of one-day training for coaches and program providers, followed by three-day camps with a minimum of 10 participants. Equipment provided at each camp will be gifted by USTA Serves to the local VA to continue tennis programming at its facility. In addition, participants of each camp will have an opportunity to get connected to a local tennis program in their community.
“It is an honor to receive a grant from the USOC, and USTA Serves is excited to provide this opportunity for our nation’s veterans and military service members,” said Dan Faber, executive director of USTA Serves. “Hosting the camps truly aligns with our mission of assisting with reintegration efforts for wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans with the USOC’s goal of growing Paralympic sports programs. Tennis is the sport for a lifetime, and we are passionate and committed to providing an exciting and unique experience with the hope that it will encourage our participants who may not have ever picked up a racquet to continue playing.”
“As a retired Army officer having served eight years, I am proud to have been selected to lead these wheelchair camps for my fellow service members and veterans,” Walker said. “I’m looking forward to guiding the other coaches and tennis providers, providing them with the tools and ability to continue bringing top-notch tennis programming to our veterans. In turn, we hope the participants continue with the sport for life, building confidence in their abilities and developing a friendly competitive spirit among all players.
“We are always excited to see who the next Wheelchair Tennis professional will be, and these wheelchair tennis camps may produce just that—and possibly a future Paralympic tennis champion.”
USTA Serves provides financial support for disadvantaged youth and people with disabilities through tennis and education programs designed to improve health, build character, teach life skills and motivate students to strive for academic excellence. For more information on USTA Serves, visit www.ustaserves.com or call 914-697-2275. U.S. Paralympics can be reached at 719-866-2039.