Missouri Valley / Heart Of America

KC No Coast Provides Important Opportunities

Jerod Fox | April 30, 2020

Since 1978, The Whole Person has been serving the disabled population in the Kansas City region, promoting “empowerment, independence, self-reliance and integration into the community.” While their most essential services are in advocacy, care assistance and mentoring, they are also an organizational member of the USTA, offering opportunities in wheelchair tennis. 


The biggest draw is the KC No Coast program, which gives wheelchair tennis players an opportunity to compete competitively throughout the Midwest. 


“We just wanted to give people the opportunity to compete at a higher level,” The Whole Person’s Community Relations Manager Terri Goddard said. 


No Coast sends players all around the region, helping out financially, if need be. The main goal is to increase accessibility to the sport and to provide opportunities to disabled athletes. According to Jay Coakley’s Sports in Society, one of the largest barriers of participation for athletes with impairments is the scarcity of year-round opportunities and resources. KC No Coast combats this by providing practice facilities every Wednesday from January through October. 


“Everything about accessibility is important,” Goddard said. “Too often, people with disabilities lack the resources to participate. Offering these opportunities can improve anything from mobility to dexterity to overall self-esteem.”


One of the biggest mistakes in judgement that can be made is assuming that, because wheelchair tennis looks different from the tennis that one is used to seeing, it lacks the quality of competition. KC No Coast proves otherwise.


“This opportunity is important for people who think that because they’re in a wheelchair, they won’t be able to compete at a high level,” Goddard said. “They find out very quickly that they can.”


While the COVID-19 pandemic has hindered KC No Coast’s proceedings currently, they are excited to get back out and get back on track. The Wheel It Forward tournament, which was originally scheduled to take place in April, will likely be rescheduled for the fall.


“We’re hoping to get our tennis program back up and going as soon as possible,” Goddard said. “We just miss having our athletes together and participating.”


Click here for more information on KC No Coast and The Whole Person’s adaptive tennis programs.

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