Wingate, Baron, Enquist Named Wheelchair Ambassadors
The United States Tennis Association (USTA) announced the launch of the Net Generation Wheelchair Ambassadors Program which consists of 13 top wheelchair tennis providers from across the country.
Three Southerners were among those named and are listed below.
Net Generation, official youth tennis of the USTA, celebrates a game where no one sits on the sidelines and aims to inspire the next generation of tennis players by encompassing all aspects of youth play for kids ages 5-18. Net Generation provides family-friendly, safe, and clear connections to the sport through official USTA tennis programs, as well as a lifestyle platform that celebrates individuality and self-expression. The Net Generation ambassadors will help the USTA develop and grow wheelchair tennis at the junior and grassroots level by collaborating, creating new programs, and increasing outreach to associations affiliated with adapted sports.
Shelby Baron (Tuscaloosa, AL, in center in photo)
Baron is a current professional wheelchair tennis player for Team USA and a seven-time World Team Cup member. Since 2010, Baron has accumulated multiple singles and doubles ITF titles with a career-high world ranking of No. 24 in singles and No. 20 in doubles. In addition, she won four consecutive collegiate national championships representing the University of Alabama. In 2016, Baron made it to the round of 16 for singles and the doubles quarterfinals at the Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro. Residing in Tuscaloosa, AL, Baron received a master's degree in speech pathology from the University of Alabama, where she is currently the volunteer assistant coach for the wheelchair tennis team. Baron is PTR-certified and has been coaching junior and wheelchair tennis players since 2013. She was named the PTR Wheelchair Professional of the Year in 2019. Also that year Baron became a member of the USTA National Wheelchair Committee to help grow junior and collegiate wheelchair tennis around the nation.
Evan Enquist (Tuscaloosa, AL, on right in photo)
As a coach, Enquist has 15 years of teaching experience with nine years of collegiate coaching at Division I - Drake University, men’s student assistant coach; Division III - UW-La Crosse, men’s and women’s assistant coach, and Wheelchair - University of Alabama head doach. Enquist is also a USPTA-certified professional. As a volunteer, Enquist has served on the USTA National Wheelchair Tennis Committee since 2016 serving at the Collegiate Subcommittee Chair. Locally, he founded the USTA Alabama Wheelchair Tennis Committee in 2018. The Rochester, MN, native has a master's degree in Human Performance and is currently a doctoral student at the University of Alabama. His primary research focuses are wheelchair tennis, coaching performance and measures of physical activity in less active populations. Currently, Enquist is the head wheelchair tennis coach at the University of Alabama and is the tournament director for the Alabama Open ITF Futures.
Taylor Wingate (Rock Hill, SC, on left in photo)
Wingate started playing tennis for the first time in 2014 and has been on the USTA South Carolina Wheelchair Tennis Committee since 2015 and chairman since 2017. In December of 2016, Wingate received his PTR Adult Development certification and has been a wheelchair tennis instructor for the ASAP tennis group in Charlotte, NC, for the past two-and-a-half years. He works part-time at the Rock Hill (SC) Tennis Center and received the USPTA wheelchair tennis certification in 2019. Wingate has been on the USTA SC Board of Directors (North Area Director) for the past two years.
“We couldn’t be more excited to welcome this outstanding group of wheelchair tennis providers that are known in their local communities for their top-notch programming and dedication to growing the game of tennis at the grassroots level,” said Craig Morris, USTA Chief Executive, Community Tennis. “The USTA is proud to champion adapted sports and through our Net Generation curriculum and resources we are confident these group of ambassadors will help develop the next generation of wheelchair tennis greats.”
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