Abilities Tennis was well represented at the 2018 USTA North Carolina Awards luncheon in Pinehurst during Tennis Weekend.
The 2017 Adaptive Tennis Award was given to Christie Elliott (middle) & Lou Welch (right).
Christie started playing tennis in 2009 with the Adaptive Tennis program in Greensboro. Like most athletes, Christie began learning skills on the court, quickly moving on to play short court doubles and singles. Thanks to her dedication to the sport and hours of practice, she now plays full court singles. Christie attends weekly Abilities Tennis clinics and she takes private lessons honing her groundstroke and volley skills in preparation for the next tournament. She participates in Special Olympics and has a 4.5 Special Olympics rating. She is always reaching out to others, encouraging them to play their best and her genuine delight in the success of others is undeniable. Lou serves as the Executive Director of the Abilities Tennis Association of North Carolina. Her passion, enthusiasm and dedication are infectious. Through her hard work, she has helped the ATA grow and increase the services it provides its athletes. She puts in countless hours to deliver great programs and tournaments such as the Winston-Salem Adaptive Open and the Raleigh Winter Chill.
The 2017 Family of the Year Given by J. Blount & Dargan M. Williams was awarded to the Hunsucker Family. While there are countless, amazing tennis families across our state, one family in Winston-Salem stands out among the rest. Charles Hunsucker (left) has enjoyed playing tennis for nearly 50 years! He’s competed in USTA leagues, served as a Special Olympics coach, and his family has supported the Abilities Tennis Association of North Carolina since its inception. With the help and support of his wife, Frances (middle right), Charles often volunteers to coach and assist ATA national tournaments.Together, they founded the Winston-Salem Adaptive Open, a national Abilities Tennis tournament, at Taylor Tennis Center. Their son, Justin Hunsucker (middle left), has competed in the ATA and Special Olympics for 8 years, winning numerous tournaments and gold medals at the top division. Justin’s older sister, Kelly (right), enjoys playing tennis with her family and supports her brother and Dad at many of their competitions. Kelly’s 12-year-old and 10- year-old sons, are following their family’s love of tennis, both competing in USTA programs.