January Wheelchair Tennis Program Spotlight of The Month: Madonna Rehab Hospital- Lincoln,NE

Madonna Rehab
Madonna Rehab
Madonna Rehab

Madonna Adapted Sports and Recreation is pleased to share about our 2010 Capital City Wheelchair Tennis Classic which occurred on August 14 & 15, 2010.

The tournament was held at Woods Tennis Center in Lincoln. Head Pro Kevin Heim has been invaluable in offering his expertise and support of this event. We had 10 individuals registered to compete. Our goal was to recruit 12-14 participants for this year.  We recruited several volunteers who have been instrumental in helping us grow as a program to assist at our event. We thank Fred Johnson from the USTA Missouri Valley Section and Jane Hines from USTA Nebraska for all their help.

Racquet Corner, a tennis specialty shop in Lincoln, agreed to partner with us for this tournament.   The tournament weekend kicked off with an up/down event Friday night and also included lunch on Saturday and Sunday and a Saturday evening banquet all included in the entry fee.

The USTA grant funds helped us cover the cost of court rental for the weekend at Woods Tennis Center as well as other tournament costs to help make our event such a success, we thank the USTA for their support to help us enhance our program. 

To increase awareness and lead into the tournament, Madonna offered the Racquet Corner Wheelchair Tennis Up/Down Tournament on Saturday, July 31st to give participants who are new to tennis an opportunity to play with players of all abilities. The event included a pre-tournament social with food catered by Racquet Corner. To level the playing court and gain a better understanding of wheelchair tennis, players who do not use a chair regularly were involved in seated play.

After our tournament, we have continued on with regular programming.  Currently we offer a once a month opportunity where we have open recreation tennis times at the Woods tennis center.  During the open rec time we use tennis to work with patients on hand-eye coordination, upper extremity skills and wheelchair mobility.  This is a place where we can introduce wheelchair tennis to patients who will be using a wheelchair.  The tennis pro at Woods tennis center collaborates with the therapists to come up with specific skills to work on depending on participant’s skill level.   We began this program 4 years ago and have continually increased in numbers over the years and have serviced many new potential wheelchair tennis players and introduced the game to many rehab patients who would’ve never been exposed to it thanks tothe Madonna Rehab Hospital and their Recreational Therapy based program. 

Submitted by Kristin Luethke, CTRS