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Winter Chill Registration Open!

Registration is now available for the 2014 Winter Chill Tournament in Raleigh, Saturday, December 6th. Whatever your level of play, we would love to see you on the courts. You can participate in matches on the Full Court or Short Court. Not ready for tournament play? Hit with our coaches and volunteers on the Skills Court.

Players from the NC State Women’s tennis team will be on hand to help out and to be your doubles partner!

Go to the tournament page for the details and registration link…

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Winston-Salem Open and Footprints on the Court

Wow, the past few weeks have been a whirlwind!  August 19th at the Winston-Salem Open, Abilities Tennis was featured in an exhibition match before the pros donned the court.  The father-son dynamic duo, Charles and Justin Hunsucker, took on Kristine Hughes and Lou Welch, first time partners.  The competition was exciting with all four at the net battling out most of the points.  Charles’s deceptively spinny serve posed a problem for Lou as did Justin’s line drive shots at Lou at the net.  Kristine held her own as we battled over every point!  A grand time was had by all….looking forward to next year!

Then it was on to our fundraiser sponsored by RTA (Raleigh Tennis Association) on September 5th.  The fundraiser was aptly named Footprints on the Court and was under way back in early 2013.  Over 35 creative baskets were made by league tennis teams to be auctioned off  at the tournament being held at North Hills Club in Raleigh.  Over 120 people signed up to play mixed doubles and women’s doubles on this Friday evening from 6:00 – 10:00 pm.  Truly it was like a swarm of bees came in and worked diligently creating an exciting ambience for the athletes and participants.  By 6:00 the athletes were warmed up and ready to play in the exhibition matches.  We had one court of singles and a court of doubles.  Participants included Brian Buker, Matt Carpenter, Darek Alexiou, Jacob Melcher, Adam Martin, Ruth Hochstrasser and Kristine Hughes.  Many of the athletes played for 4 hours, taking a short break to enjoy dinner.

Though the rain cut short play for some, many continued through the drizzle.  Because of the rain, we did not have time to thank so many who made this event such a huge success.  Susan Flanagan and her team worked tirelessly for months.  They were amazing and I heard many comments on the professional quality of this tournament.  Also, we thank Wells Fargo, Merz Aesthetics and North Hills Club.  Shane Wells went out of his way to be accommodating, making all the courts available for our use and providing the balls.  Many club members played in the tournament and asked for it to return next year!  Yes, we will!

Now it is on to planning the Winter Chill!  We will keep you posted as we nail down dates and places.

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Recap of Winston-Salem Adaptive Tennis Open

From May 15 – 17, over 40 athletes met to compete in the National tournament held at the Vision Tennis Center in Clemmons, NC, just outside of Winston-Salem.  Vision Tennis Center hosts this yearly event with enthusiasm and fervor that is impressive to all.  Alex and Dave, the tennis pros at Vision Tennis Center, gave generously of their time acting as referees, conducting drills, organizing meals, and befriending all who attended.  Charles Hunsucker recruited and trained more than 70 volunteers for the tournament.  Kirstie Marx methodically organized the divisions and draws to make for exciting competition.

As the athletes arrived from all over North Carolina, Virginia, and Massachusetts, emotions mounted as hugs and high fives were shared.  Thursday night athletes participated in drills and practice for the tournament which would take place on Friday and Saturday. There were eight divisions and skilled courts for athletes to hone and practice their strokes.  Winston-Salem is the only tournament which provides this opportunity for athletes to practice their skills through drills.  These athletes are not ready to compete in matches, but have the drive to work hard and enjoy the camaraderie that comes with playing in tournaments.

Throughout Friday and Saturday, the athletes were motivated to win, but more importantly were excited to be participating.  They encouraged each other to play their best, even when they were directly across the net from each other. When changing sides of the court, words of kindness, slaps on the back and high fives were common.

The weekend culminated in the awards banquet with medals given to the participants in each division according to their rank.  Finally, the sportsmanship award was given to the player voted upon by all the coaches and athletes.  Zola was beaming with such a high honor.  Athletes, volunteers and organizers left with a feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction, and promises to return next year!

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It’s a Wrap: Wilmington’s “Swing into Spring” Adaptive Tennis Tournament

Wilmington’s “Swing into Spring” Adaptive Tennis Tournament is over except for the smiles. Saturday, April 12, turned out to be the perfect day for a tennis tournament. Athletes, unified partners, volunteers, and families, came together for 7 hours of awesome tennis. In addition to tennis, the day brought tennis players and volunteers alike the opportunity to rekindle old friendships, develop new friendships, and bring awareness to tennis for those with intellectual disabilities.

Thank you to our SPONSORS. There is never a fee charged to the Abilities Tennis athletes to take part in the year-round clinics and/or tournaments. We rely on donations from individuals, businesses and monies generated through fundraisers. Please support the following businesses who donated to our program this year:

GWTA (Greater Wilmington Tennis Association)
Setup Events
Victory Awards and Trophies
Tennis With Love
Costco
Food Lion
Harris Teeter
Krispy Kreme
Lowes Foods
Target
Walmart

Thank you to our VOLUNTEERS.  The Abilities Tennis athletes need your help to be able to enjoy the game. Whether you volunteered as a unified doubles partner, scorekeeper, ballboy/girl, photographer, at the tournament desk, on the tournament committee, or at the fundraiser, know that your involvement allows the Abilities Tennis athletes to shine on the court. And when they shine on the court, it carries over into their lives off the court.

Thank you to Wilmington’s Abilities Tennis COACHES.  Year-round, you give generously of your time, knowledge, and love of tennis. You help our athletes to build stronger minds and bodies. You encourage our athletes to reach higher in life. Thank you to Coach Bob, Coach Ginny, Coach Kris, Coach Laura, and Coach Noah.

See you on courts!

 

 

 

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Board of Director Changes

On March 27, 2014, the Abilities Tennis Association of North Carolina Board of Directors approved several organizational changes. President Robert Edwards stepped down as President, but remains on the board as Vice President of Business affairs and PEAT Program Manager. Jessie Taliaferro was elected as President, Sally Hunter as Vice President of Community Relations, and Susan Lemmons renewed her position as Vice President of Finance.

Kirstie Marx began a new role for Abilities Tennis as a Tennis Trainer.

The Board is actively seeking an Executive Director. For more information about the position, contact susan@atanc.org

We look forward to an exciting 2014!

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