Lob-Stars Are Winners
Earn 2019 Adaptive Tennis Award
USTA Adaptive Tennis Committee | October 1, 2019
The 2019 USTA National Adaptive Tennis Award was given to the Lob-Stars of Hanover, Mass., not because of their cute name and even cuter lobster t-shirts, but for being one of the country's outstanding programs.
The organization, based at the South Shore YMCA, has been active for 22 years, serving athletes with intellectual disabilities ranging in age from 16 to 65. At tennis clinics run weekly year-round, participants work on basic tennis skills, as well as short-court and full-court doubles and singles play.
Athletes travel to compete in tournaments all over the country, making friends and winning medals wherever they go. Traveling with the team teaches players independence and provides opportunities they would never have without the Lob-Stars program.
"We have traveled to many tournaments in South Carolina, North Carolina, Colorado, and Virginia," said coach Lucy Dickman, "and the Lob-Stars often receive sportsmanship awards, which to me is better than any gold medal they could get."ADVERTISEMENT
In 2018, the group traveled to the USTA National Campus in Lake Nona to play in the inaugural USTA Adaptive National Championship. Two athletes, Justin Daley and Billy Harris, their unified partners, and coaches enjoyed a fun weekend of tennis and social interaction with adaptive tennis players from across the country. Harris and his unified partner Sebastian Quintero won the bronze trophy.
“This group is like a family to our son,” said Justin’s parents, Leo and Michelle Daley. “In the five years he has been playing, he has improved greatly, not only in tennis but in his life and social skills.”
The National Adaptive Tennis Award was accepted (all, pictured above) by coaches Martha DiGregorio, Elaine Nolan and Jim Lawson, as well as athletes Marc Segerman, Billy Harris, Lauren Griffin, Justin Daley, Liam Higgins and Kerri-Anne Hutchins.
Cheering the team on in the audience were Paul Gorman, President and CEO of the South Shore YMCA; Bob Carroll, Tennis Director; volunteer Ann Foresman, and other family and friends. The Lob-Stars won the hearts of the entire USTA family as well.
After the awards breakfast, Segerman spoke to the Adaptive Tennis Committee. He shared his unique perspective on learning and playing tennis, the importance of good sportsmanship, and how much being a Lob-Star has enhanced his life.
DiGregorio added: "The dedication to tennis exemplified by the Lob-Stars not only promotes a healthy lifestyle as players sharpen skills, but it also strengthens camaraderie and encourages each athlete to take pride in their successes, both on and off the court."