Roll with It:
Lincoln All Comers Camp
Jason Allen | October 1, 2018
2018 has been a year of many firsts for the USTA Wheelchair Tennis Department, including the introduction of an All Comers Camp in Lincoln Neb.
Held at the Woods Tennis Center, hosting an All Comers Camp in Lincoln was a strategic and obvious choice, as the city has been integral in the growth and development of wheelchair tennis, and continues to see the sport and its athletes flourish with ample programming.
The current momentum is due, in large part, to the active work of the Woods Tennis Center’s Executive Director, Kevin Heim.
“He has been a very positive force in the wheelchair tennis community, said Jason Allen, Manager of Wheelchair Tennis for the USTA. “Kevin is a great coach and certainly has a passion for coaching the sport. He has been of great service to National staff, most recently being named as a coach for the 2018 World Team Cup in Apeldoorn, Netherlands.”ADVERTISEMENT
Kevin Heim coached the quad team at the 2018 World Team Cup, which is the equivalent of Davis Cup and Fed Cup on the able-bodied side. He also coaches Taylor Graham, one of the top quad players in America. A Lincoln resident, Graham has been training for the past few years to increase his world ranking. Currently, Taylor is ranked 41 in the world after having broken into the top 50 recently under the tutelage of Coach Heim.
Heim’s passion inspired the USTA Wheelchair Staff to host the first-ever Lincoln camp from August 23 through 26. All of these national camps take on their own identity. This one, in particular, decided to add a USTA sanctioned tournament at the end of the instructional piece of the camp. There were 15 players in total, and they all enjoyed the camaraderie and tournament play.
Another first for the USTA Wheelchair Department was having Jason Allen lead the camp and serve as the head coach for the camp.
“Although I have coached tennis almost all of my life, and I have coached wheelchair tennis for the past two years, this was my first solo camp specifically in wheelchair tennis,” said Allen. “It was a little nerve-racking, but I had a great deal of help from Coach Kevin and Coach Carlos Turic. We also had a great group of students who were eager to learn and enjoyed themselves.”
Current tennis professional and Paralympian Nick Taylor also served as a coach during this camp. The USTA Wheelchair Tennis Department feels that having players such as Nick at these camps is paramount to the overall quality. His knowledge and experience was monumental for the students.
There are plans to host another camp in Lincoln, at the Woods Tennis Center, again in August of 2019. The USTA hopes to grow its numbers to more than 20 for the following year.