10th Year in South Carolina
USTA Adaptive Tennis Committee | October 1, 2019
For the 10th consecutive year, the Special Populations Unified Doubles (SPUD) tournament was played in Belton, S.C. from June 21-22.
The tournament featured 40 special athletes from South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama competing as teams in doubles with a unified partner.
Presented by USTA Southern, hosted by the Belton Tennis Association and sponsored by Chick-fil-A of Anderson, the athletes and their partners were divided into six teams with each team wearing the appropriate color shirt.
The Belton Area Museum hosted the athletes and partners for lunch at the historic Belton Depot on Friday, which included the Chick-fil-A cow, and a visit to the South Carolina Tennis Hall of Fame.
The athletes, partners, chaperones and volunteers enjoyed a special treat on Friday night with a pizza and ice cream party, followed by live entertainment from the Combo Kings with lots of fun and dancing.ADVERTISEMENT
The tournament concluded with lunch and an awards ceremony on Saturday. Every athlete and unified partner received an award and a group picture.
Two sportsmanship awards, named in honor of tournament director Rex Maynard, were presented to Kristin Locatelli from Lexington, S. C. and Dennis Haratine from Atlanta, Ga.
“We are really happy to be able to host this great event in Belton. It brings together a great group of people who care more about others than themselves. We have winners and those that don’t win, but there are no losers in this event," Maynard said.
"We host some larger, more prestigious tennis events in Belton, but none are more important to our community and Belton tennis than SPUD. The smiles on the athletes’ faces make it all worthwhile.”