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USTA Eastern Section and the Syracuse VA Medical Center Form Partnership

June 19, 2007 02:21 PM
VA Hospital ParticipantsA new partnership is underway between the USTA Eastern Section and the Syracuse VA Medical Center. On June 2, 2007, VA Hospital Recreation Therapist, Becky J. Ross hosted the first tennis carnival and barbeque. The VFW donated a delicious lunch, which was served and cooked by the American Legion and the Veteran's Voice organizations. USTA representatives Joe Steger and Maria Lirio assisted Delynn Orton, Eastern Wheelchair and Special Populations committee member. Approximately 60 Veterans in wheelchairs attended the event, with nearly half of the attendees joyfully participating in the tennis clinic. An introduction to wheelchair tennis was given by Orton, a certified USPTR wheelchair instructor. The clinic was totally inclusive for all the attendees utilizing a specialized tennis wheelchair loaned by the Town of Hamburg Recreation Department and tennis racquets donated by USTA Eastern. The net and balls were provided by a Western Regional grant to encourage community/adaptive tennis within USTA Eastern Section.
The mission of the new partnership is to provide veterans an opportunity to learn tennis fundamentals and to compete or play recreational tennis. It is the greater intention that through tennis, new friendships and opportunities to re-emerge into the general community is achieved. Because tennis can be easily adapted to include any disability, it can be enjoyed by all.