Wheelchair tennis tournament a smashing success

Fri, 10/27/2006 - 8:07am
By: The Citizen

The Peachtree City Tennis Center hosted the Prudential Financial Blaze Sports Run Roll Challenge Saturday Oct. 14. This was a doubles event with one able body and one wheelchair tennis player competing together against other players of similar ability in three different divisions consisting of 5.0, 6.0 and 7.0 teams. The levels are made up of a combined NTRP rating that is a standard rating system used by many leagues such as USTA and ALTA. Players came from Tennessee, Missouri and Florida that was the culmination of divisional winners in their area that advanced to this regional event.

Final Results:

5.0 Winners were Bryon Lankford/Nick Shapiro

6.0 Winners were Gavin Cloy/Stefan Rizzo

7.0 Winners were Donald Shapiro/Henry Scheer

Karin Korb and Dan Humphreys, both Regional Program Directors with Blaze Sports America, from Atlanta, directed this event that is one of eighteen of its kind across the United States this year. “We are so excited to be able to host this event at such a wonderful facility, the entire staff and community has been so accommodating and Southern Crescent Tennis Association put together so many volunteers for us, it really is incredible how this event helps bridge the gap between the able body and wheelchair community” said Korb.

Blaze Sports America provides sports training, competitions, summer camps and other sports and recreational opportunities for youth and adults who use wheelchairs, have a visual impairment, have an amputation, or who have a neurological disability such as cerebral palsy or spina bifida. Participant ages range, depending on the program, from 6 years through adulthood. Blaze Sports was formed out of the 1996 Paralympic Games in Atlanta.

Others involved with this tournament included Southern Crescent Tennis Association league coordinators Byron Sturgis and Sharon Greiner along with the USTA Georgia’s Paige Miller that were instrumental in bringing together volunteers, players bags, gifts and other amenities that helped make this such a great event. The Peachtree City Tennis Center was very excited to be able to host this type of event.

“It is great that this event was held at a public facility, many of these people play tennis in a parks environment back home and we were still able to accommodate our members on this day while all 24 courts were in use with other activities going on” said Dave Gary Tennis Center Manager.

The Tennis Center, open to the public, offers a wide range of programs and tournaments for adults, juniors and seniors of all ages and levels. Also, available at the Tennis Center, is a fully stocked pro shop. The pro shop offers racket stringing, clothing, shoes and accessories.

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