February Wheelchair Tennis Program Spotlight of The Month: Rehab Hospital of Indiana

Our first Nap Town Up/Down Tennis Tournament weekend was a huge success!   We had approx. 25-30 people come out for the Friday evening kick-off event at Meridian Hills Country Club and although it was sweltering hot, I think everyone enjoyed a chance to play on the clay courts and socialize at such a wonderful venue.

We had 11 teams participate in the tournament on Saturday and Sunday and were fortunate to have the incredible support of approx. 50-60 volunteers. People came from all over the Midwest (Grand Rapids, Chicago, Indianapolis etc.)  and they were so grateful for the opportunity to compete and support the event - it was really amazing!
On Sunday morning, we held a youth and adult clinic where we had Prince demo racquets available and open courts for people to learn more and practice their wheelchair tennis skills.  We had a few new players come out for just this part of the event, which was really neat to see, and were able to teach some able bodied children who had never seen wheelchair sports before about wheelchair tennis.  The feeling of acceptance and encouragement flowed throughout the entire event -- many of the volunteers and spectators were amazed by the fluidity of the game and loved the inclusive message it sent to the whole community -- we were absolutely thrilled by how everything turned out.

This event generated valuable revenue that will enable us to effectively continue our wheelchair tennis program into the future and has gathered some very valuable support from the community.  We feel that we met and exceeded our goals and expectations in many ways for first ever up/down Nap Town event!
We are also gaining additional support and exposure recently from 2 local college teams; Butler University participated in an August and November clinic with our local players and educating the able bodied athletes about wheelchair tennis and we practice there weekly so we are gaining lots of exposure and Purdue University allows us to use their facilities 2X a month for our adult team practice.  We are excited to see the continued growth and excitement in our area for wheelchair tennis in the Midwest!

We’d like to thank the USTA for their support from the grant and all they have done to help make this event possible!  We have had such an incredible impact on so many people with disabilities and their families through your support of this special event. 

The Indianapolis Community Tennis Association, partners with the Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana sports program to offer support to the adult wheelchair tennis program and clinics for new youth and adult players.  The Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana (RHI) Sports Program provides a full spectrum of athletic opportunities to individuals with physical disabilities to enhance quality of life, promote physical fitness and to introduce them to the world of adaptive sports.  RHI Sports specializes in serving youth and adults with spinal cord, orthopedic, neuromuscular and visual impairments. 

RHISP currently has 15 sports teams and conducts approximately 25 athlete development programs throughout the year; resulting in more than 22,000 program hours to over 300 athletes.  Over the past decade quad rugby, wheelchair basketball, power soccer, water skiing, track and field, beep baseball, tennis, golf, and racing have all grown into staple programs of RHI Sports.  In addition, families enjoy introductory clinics like white water rafting, sailing, scuba diving, horseback riding, rock climbing and many more!