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Batavia Youth Bureau--Tennis for All Youth!

September 21, 2007 05:00 PM

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to do something without your sight, or without your hearing, or perhaps without use of your legs? That’s what participants at the Batavia Youth Bureau’s Adaptive Tennis Clinic were able to do on August 8th. Since the Batavia Youth Bureau received their first USTA grant through the Association of NYS Youth Bureaus in 2006, administrators have wanted to provide a tennis program for youth with special needs. Challenger Tennis will become a reality in Batavia thanks to another grant in 2007 and a collaboration with USTA Eastern, the YMCA and Genesee ARC. This new program will serve youth with various disabilities through a six week tennis league. The Challenger program started last year in Batavia with Baseball and has since expanded to soccer, tennis this fall, and dance in the winter. Youth who many times get left out of community recreation programs because of their limitations are able to participate and succeed in the Challenger Program. Staff at the Batavia Youth Bureau are excited about the opportunity to include tennis in this beneficial program which serves all youth.

The Adaptive Tennis Clinic attracted 35 participants who wanted to learn how to adapt tennis to special populations. The clinic was open free of charge to anyone interested in learning about opportunities and techniques to promote positive learning experiences for children with special needs. The clinic attracted professionals, as well as adults (several parents of special needs children) and high school students interested in volunteering. Delynn Orton, an Adapted Physical Educator and PTR Wheelchair Teaching Professional, facilitated the two hour clinic. Participants received valuable information on how to work with various populations and also had a chance to role play various limitations while doing some tennis drills. This role playing gave participants a first hand experience on how it feels to participate in recreational activities with a disability. Everyone left with a better idea on how to adapt tennis to a youth who might be blind, hearing impaired, learning disabled, or confined to a wheelchair. All of the participants said they would recommend the clinic to a friend or colleague. Many of the participants at the Adaptive Clinic will be volunteering for the Challenger Tennis Program in Batavia which is scheduled to start this September. Anyone who would like more information on the Adaptive Tennis Clinic or the Batavia Challenger Program, can contact Patricia Dieck at the Batavia Youth Bureau, 585-345-6422.

Batavia Youth Bureau