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Boca Raton News

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Date ArticleType
3/7/2018 General
Patch Reef Tennis Center Earns Award for Wheelchair Program


 

BOCA RATON, FL – March 7, 2018 – The Patch Reef Tennis Center (PRTC) recently received an award from the United States Tennis Association (USTA) for its wheelchair tennis program. The award, the 2017 Local Grassroots Wheelchair Tennis Program of the Year, is granted to programs that promote and develop the growth of wheelchair tennis and use the sport of tennis to help build stronger, healthier communities.

PRTC’s wheelchair tennis program started to take shape when U.S. Wheelchair Sports Hall of Famer and Paralympic athlete, Bruce Karr, also known as "The Godfather" of wheelchair tennis, organized the first wheelchair tennis tournament for Palm Beach County players at PRTC. Through time and with the support of the local community and the tennis center, Jim Tierney, Patch Reef Tennis Center Administrator, took over the tournament in hopes of growing wheelchair tennis at the local and statewide level.

"Jim stepped up in a big way for the wheelchair tennis program," commented Karr. "He was and still is such a helpful guy who took such interest in this program and has been so supportive and engaged in the process of continuing to build it up."

Tierney took the program a step further by joining the United States Tennis Association (USTA) where he currently sits on the board for the wheelchair tennis program. He has since hosted two annual USTA sanctioned wheelchair tennis tournaments: the South Florida Open Wheelchair Championships and the South Florida Open Winter Wheelchair Championship.

"Members in the community who are familiar with wheelchair tennis have embraced it and are often ardent supporters such as the many volunteers who assist the tournaments and round robins. Typically, anyone that experiences wheelchair tennis for the first time is hooked and often returns. The challenge is to get the word out to those that have not experienced the skills, desire, and competitiveness of wheelchair athletes. We encourage our community to come and support these talented players and events," said Tierney.

PRTC also offers a free weekly clinic every Tuesday from 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. and a fun, monthly Up/Down round robin which takes place the first Tuesday of each month pairing able-bodied players with wheelchair players. For more information, please visit

 

www.patchreefpark.org or call 561-367-7090.