Grants at Work

Lakshore Adapted Tennis Program

August 1, 2017

The Yellowhammer State is now buzzing with new tennis players and fans, thanks to a generous donation from the USTA Foundation.


The Lakeshore Foundation is a fitness, recreation, sport and research organization for people with physically disabling conditions located in Birmingham, Ala. Since 2003, it has also served as a U.S. Olympic and Paralympic training site.  


The Lakeshore Foundation received a $5,000 USTA Grassroots Wheelchair Tennis Grant which has rekindled interest and attracted new players for Lakeshore’s adapted tennis program. The funds have been used to purchase equipment, fund the Paralympic experience, and host inclusive tennis practices conducted by a tennis professional. During the grant process, Lakeshore introduced tennis to four people who had never played.  The benefits of the program are manifold, as members develop strength, endurance and wheelchair skills that may facilitate mobility and enhance their level of independence in everyday life.



Lakeshore kicked off their 2017 tennis season with a "Paralympic Experience Day" on April 8, where adaptive tennis was introduced to 16 youth and adults. As a feature of the event, Paralympic tennis players provided inclusive instruction of basic tennis skills to players with physical disabilities. A week following the event, Inclusive Tennis Practice Sessions began at Lakeshore. From April 11 through June 6, Lakeshore tennis coaches teamed up with Birmingham Tennis Academy teaching professional, Mark Baker, and hosted two-hour practice sessions at which 10 athletes took part on a regular basis. At the conclusion of the sessions, Lakeshore hosted a Run and Roll Tournament on Saturday, June 10, for over 20 athletes. 


Lakeshore plans to provide similar events and opportunities next season. Their members are encouraged to play tennis year round, as they are provided with access to courts, the use of wheelchairs, racquets and balls. 


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