SOUTHERN ARIZONA ADAPTIVE SPORTS
RECEIVES $4,000 USTA GRANT
USTA Southwest | January 19, 2018
SOUTHERN ARIZONA ADAPTIVE SPORTS TO RECEIVE $4,000 USTA NATIONAL GRANT
Grant Recognizes Organizations That Grow Wheelchair Tennis In Their Local Communities
ORLANDO, FLA., January 19 , 2018 – The USTA today announced that Southern Arizona Adaptive Sports was awarded a USTA Wheelchair Tennis Grassroots Grant.
Southern Arizona Adaptive Sports was one of 17 wheelchair tennis programs nationwide chosen for the grant. Grants were awarded to local organizations that promote and develop the growth of wheelchair tennis and use the sport of tennis to help build stronger, healthier communities.
The first USTA Wheelchair Tennis Grassroots Grants were awarded in 2008 and since then, the USTA has given more than $500,000 to wheelchair tennis programs across the country.
Grant amounts were based on each program's existing budget, as well as the future programming needs of the organization. ADVERTISEMENT Recipients can use the award to meet the USTA’s grant initiatives including coaching, court time, equipment, recruitment and events (tournaments, camps, etc.).
"We are thrilled about the grant and honored to be a recipient," said Mia Hansen of Southern Arizona Adaptive Sports about the USTA's $4,000 grant to SAAS. "We are going to put this money to good use to not only attempt to reach new wheelchair players in our area, but to retaining and improving the tennis experience for players in our area."
Southern Arizona Adaptive Sports, a non-profit 501c3 organization that formed in May of 2017, will partner with the Tucson Wheelchair Tennis Group and University of Arizona Wheelchair sports, which has the largest collection of wheelchair players in the city,. They will also work with USTA Southern Arizona, the USTA's presence in Tucson.
The goal will be to not only find new tennis players from SAAS's collection of wheelchair athletes from other sports, like cycling and basketball, but to work to build a playing network of wheelchair tennis players at all levels, starting with schools right up to high-level players, which Tucson has a few of, including Parlaympics athlete Bryan Barten.
"Our goal is to get everyone at all levels recreating and enjoying these sort of sports like wheelchair tennis in Tucson," said Hansen. "SAAS is an all volunteer organization and we're always looking for assistance and funds, so we are very grateful for this help from the USTA."
Tucson is not only home to a thriving University of Arizona Disability Resource Center that actually has university-level college athletics programs, but is also the host of an annual high-level international event - the ITF Arizona Open - typically held in mid-to-late January.
“Wheelchair tennis continues to grow in stature and popularity in the United States and the USTA is proud to award these grants to deserving wheelchair tennis organizations in recognition of their commitment in promoting and growing the sport,” said Joanne Wallen, USTA Director, Adult Individual Play & Wheelchair Tennis.
"Organizations like (Southern Arizona Adaptive Sports) positively impact wheelchair tennis, and we know that these grants will be help them be a part of a continued effort in expanding programs that support the wheelchair community through tennis and foster growth and success in players.”
The USTA grants are being awarded to the following organizations:
· Southern Arizona Adaptive Sports, Tucson, Ariz.
· University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Ala.
· Seattle Adaptive Sports, Seattle, Wash.
· University of Houston, Houston, Texas
· MSU Department of Kinesiology, East Lansing, Mich.
· Southcoast Wheelchair Tennis, Attleboro, Mass.
· Spring Rollers LLC, Woodlands, Texas
· Lehigh Valley Center for Independent Living, Allentown, Pa.
· Biola University, La Miranda, Calif.
· Bowling Green Parks and Rec., Bowling Green, Ky.
· Paula G. Manship YMCA, Baton Rouge, La.
· Southern Crescent Tennis Association, Peachtree, Ga.
· San Antonio Tennis Association, San Antonio, Texas
· City of Tampa Parks and Rec., Tampa, Fla.
· Teaming Individuals Emphasizing Sports, Sacramento, Calif.
· Kroc Center, Greenville, S.C.
· Mid Carolina Tennis Association, Rock Hill, S.C.
Organizations that are interested in starting a wheelchair tennis program or would like more information about wheelchair tennis can email firstname.lastname@example.org.