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Benzon pays it forward, devoted to Adaptive Tennis

Cindy Benzon pays it forward by providing tennis for individuals with disabilities.
Cindy Benzon is a fixture at Special Olympics Texas events.
Benzon was part of tennis outreach efforts at the 2013 Dwarf National Games.
By Joyce Dreslin, special to USTA.com
Growing up in Utah, Cindy Benzon was provided with tennis opportunities from her mentor, Harry James. Although James was wheelchair-bound, he never let the chair become an issue, coaching the University of Utah’s men’s varsity team and managing a tennis club. Benzon felt that she could never pay James back for all that he did for her, so she has been "paying it forward" since 1984 by providing tennis to individuals with disabilities.
Adaptive Tennis has become a passion for Benzon, now Program Coordinator for Adaptive Tennis, USTA Texas. As a USTA Texas Tennis Service Representative, she covers the vast southeast Texas area, including the very populous city of Houston. Program Coordinator jobs in Texas aren’t normally handled by staff who work outside the Austin office, and TSRs normally have enough to do without taking on specific programs -- it was Benzon's love and sense of responsibility to those involved with Adaptive Tennis programming which made her uniquely qualified for her post. Benzon appealed to both Executive Director Ken McAllister and Community Development Director Mike Carter to allow her to pursue projects, and soon she donned another hat and got to work.
Whether it’s a group of wounded warriors at Fort Hood, an appointee to the Deaf Olympics Team from Corpus Christi, a non-profit organization for the visually impaired in McAllen, over-65 senior clubs in Fort Worth, Special Olympics all over Texas or the USTA Texas Adaptive Tennis Committee, the enthusiastic Benzon is omnipresent. She was recognized and rewarded in 2013 by both Texas professional organizations with the USPTA Diversity and Inclusion Award and USPTR Member of the Year Award.
The USTA has developed a database of Adaptive Tennis Programs with the purpose of connecting tennis players with the programs available to meet their tennis needs. Stay informed about grants, events, awards and more. View the complete list of registered programs. If you do not see your program, register now for free.
The USTA National Adaptive Tennis Committee would like to know more about your programs, people and events. This gives recognition to the great work you’re doing and inspires others to provide similar services. Contact us now!
Joyce Dreslin, USTA Adaptive Tennis Committee, Spotlight Project Team Leader


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