The Wayne D. McCoy Beach Blast was held at the Owl Creek Tennis Center in Virginia Beach under sunny skies and with great anticipation shared by everyone attending. The Beach Blast used the "Unified" format, which pairs players with intellectual disabilities with tennis playing volunteers in a doubles round robin. The event is open to all athletes with intellectual disabilities in Virginia. This year featured 38 athletes and over 70 volunteers with participants not only from the Tidewater area, but from as far away as Arlington.
In addition to full court match play, short court tennis and skills were also part of the activities. The short court matches utilize the Special Olympics 42’ court format with red felt tennis balls and athletes demonstrated their proficiency with the basic tennis strokes. During their time in between matches, the athletes played a variety of USTA/Virginia Tennis carnival games and most came away with some great prizes. Following match play, everyone enjoyed a fantastic luncheon sponsored by the Virginia Beach Tennis Patrons Association.
A new addition to this year’s Beach Blast was an Adopt-a-Unit packing party for the latest unit adopted by USTA/Virginia Tennis - Detachment 19, Alpha Company, 48th Combat Support Hospital, a medical unit out of Fort Story in Virginia Beach. Beach Blast athletes filled tennis cans with all types of goodies which will be distributed among the troops.
All players and volunteers received a Wayne D. McCoy Beach Blast t-shirt provided by Area 2 Special Olympics and the players also received an additional gift bag with goodies provided by USTA/Virginia Tennis, The Virginia Beach Tennis Patrons and Jackie Vu.
USTA/Virginia tennis would like thank the event sponsors; The Virginia Beach Tennis Patrons, Virginia Tennis Foundation, Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation, and Special Olympics of Virginia. A special thank you to all of our volunteers! This event could not have happened without their assistance. USTA/Virginia would also like to recognize the invaluable contributions of our tournament committee – Cindy Allen, Ginny McCoy, Wayne McCoy, Debra Trent and Jackie Vu.
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, USTA Adaptive Tennis Committee, Spotlight Project Team Leader