Tennis Continues to Serve Veterans During Pandemic
Tennis Serving Vets (TSV), based in Yonkers, N.Y., uses tennis as a means of recovery and well-being for veterans who have visible and invisible wounds of war. Like many adaptive tennis programs, TSV suspended its in-person events due to the pandemic, but TSV has found creative ways to support and remain engaged with our participants.
Through emails and online posts, TSV has provided exercise, fitness, and tennis challenges the veterans can do from home. TSV offers incentives as well, like awarding free, outdoor and socially-distant lessons to the first few to respond. TSV has also shared videos of top tennis pros playing tennis against a wall in their backyards or doing some small tennis drills inside their homes. It’s great to show everyone that tennis and tennis drills can really be played anywhere and everywhere due to adaptivity.
TSV has also hosted Zoom sessions for the veterans so they can all stay connected and combat the loneliness and isolation some of them may feel due to the pandemic. These sessions have included mental health professionals who have provided helpful coping strategies. Some of TSV's partners at the Good Dog Foundation of N.Y. have generously made nice videos of their therapy dogs to say hello to the veterans.
Tennis Serving Vets continues to distribute important general information from national and local veterans organizations via its email distribution lists and social media. This includes, but is not limited to, pandemic updates, veterans housing and employment support, financial assistance and other pertinent veterans' affairs topics. TSV helps its veterans learn about and stay connected to other veterans organizations that they may otherwise not be aware of, and the feedback we have received has been extremely positive.
TSV hopes to get back on the courts soon but prioritizes safety first. Until then, TSV will continue to keep its veterans engaged in tennis as well as other wellness activities in any safe way it can.