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March Wheelchair Tennis Program Spotlight of The Month: Atlanta Youth Tennis

The Wheelchair Camp held on November 6, 2010 to benefit the Atlanta Youth Tennis Foundation (AYTF) proved to be a huge success (although a very cold day)!  Karin Korb and Harlon Matthews did a superb job in helping the participants feel welcome and at ease, and really improved their tennis game. 
Stacey Rice, a player who came out for the camp, states, "Karin Korb is always a pleasure to work with.  She was able to evaluate every participants needs and has this amazing way of explaining new information in a way that accommodates every learning style.  She is a ray of sunshine that energizes everyone she meets."  The cold weather kept many players from coming out, but those who braved the elements were greatly rewarded.  They provided great tips for the wheelchair players, especially when it came to hitting a game winning serve.  You could really see a difference in their game from the start of the day to the end.  Harlon states, "It was absolutely my pleasure to assist Karin again with one of her camps; especially because she was an instructor at the first camp that I attended in 2001.  She has continued to be my mentor, my motivator and a true friend!  We braved the cold and developed tennis skills – the day was a success!"  The day ended with a cocktail hour where the players and volunteers got to warm up and get to know each other off the court.
The camp also had the pleasure of hosting 2 junior tennis volunteers to help out for the day, they helped out on court in feeding balls, but also got a chance to see what it is like to play tennis in a wheelchair.  Karin and Harlon allowed them to borrow their chairs and had them hit and serve based on wheelchair tennis rules.  Although difficult at first, by the end of the day Karin and Harlon had to beg for their chairs back.  On top of being perfect gentlemen, they also asked great questions, and really wanted to learn about wheelchair tennis.  All the players and volunteers really enjoyed interacting with them throughout the day.  A special thank you to Karin and Harlon, our volunteers, and the players.  We were fortunate to be able to host this camp largely on behalf of a grant received by USTA to help support and grow wheelchair tennis!
The Atlanta Youth Tennis Foundation is a non-profit 501c3 organization established in 2003 to meet the needs of unexposed youth in the metro Atlanta area.  "The mission of the Atlanta Youth Tennis Foundation is to promote the physical and mental development of underserved youth through tennis and education."  In 2010, their National Junior Tennis and Learning Chapter’s (NJTL) had 41 youth graduate in the First Serve program which features life skills curriculum and tournament play.  Through the AYTF and the Georgia in After school Tennis and Education Program (GATE) over 800 youth from Atlanta and surrounding areas received tennis instruction, and the Whitehead Boys & Girls Club boasted a new tennis program for 100 children, 50 of which were recognized at the Atlanta Tennis Championships for their participation in the "Let’s Move" initiative of the President’s Challenge.  The Atlanta Youth Tennis Foundation was named the 2010 USTA Georgia NJTL Chapter of the Year, and the AYTF is looking forward to another exciting year for our youth in Atlanta!  For more information please visit our website at www.aytf.usta.com.  



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