Lob-Stars Athletes Compete at
National Adaptive Championships
James Maimonis, Manager, Media & Communications | November 8, 2019
ORLANDO, FL- For the second time in as many years, 19-year-old adaptive player Justin Daley and unified partner Jim Lawson represented New England at the Adaptive National Championship at the USTA National Campus in Orlando, FL. The second annual unified doubles event, which this year took place from October 12-13, featured 20 of the nation’s best doubles pairings consisting of adaptive players and their unified partners.
“The National Adaptive Championship gives the players and the unified partners something to work towards. Without the National Championship, it would be similar to not having a World Series or Super Bowl or any other national championship for a sport. It also gives national attention to unified tennis and unified sports,” Lawson said.
Daley and Coach Lawson won the New England Adaptive Championship in July the Emilson YMCA in Hanover, MA to clinch their spot at Nationals. ADVERTISEMENT They were joined this year in Orlando by the team of 27-year-old Wendy Griffin and unified partner Ann Foresman, who finished second in New England.
At Nationals, the teams were broken up into four flights and squared off in 30-minute matches. The five teams that won the most games in flight play advanced to the championship flight. Daley and Lawson finished sixth overall, two games away from advancing. Griffin and Foresman came in 11th overall.
Both Daley and Griffin compete as part of the Lob-Stars, the team out the Emilson Y that won USTA’s 2019 National Adaptive Tennis Community Service Award. The Lob-Stars compete in both USTA tournaments and the Special Olympics.
“For me, it is all about creating a fun and fair environment for all the players. It has been a joy working with Justin and Wendy over the years and to see them develop as players and people. Unified tennis has made each one a better person by providing a way to interact with other people and players,” Lawson said.
The team practices twice a week and as much as four times a week leading up to the championships.
Lawson and his family are strong believers in inclusion and unified sports through their son Andrew. Andrew had Down Syndrome and was a three-sport athlete at Norwell High and an assistant coach upon graduating. In 2018, Andrew lost his two-year battle with cancer at the age of 27. In October 2018, he was inducted posthumously into the Norwell High School Athletic Hall of Fame, and in 2017, he and his family were inducted into the Special Olympics Massachusetts Hall of Fame.
In Andrew’s memory, Lawson and his family set up the Andrew James Lawson Foundation to help people with intellectual and developmental disabilities experience inclusion in their communities.
Click here to learn more or donate to the Andrew James Lawson Foundation.