RICHMOND, VA – (Wednesday, August 4, 2021) – Sportable, Central Virginia’s premier adaptive sports club, is proud to announce that Program Manager, Forrest Lodge earned the 2021 “USTA Mid-Atlantic Creates” Provider Champion Award. The award honors Lodge’s and Sportable’s commitment to wheelchair tennis and the growth of the sport on a national level.
“We are incredibly proud of Forrest for his leadership of the Sportable wheelchair tennis program,” commented Hunter Leemon, Sportable Executive Director. “To be recognized by USTA Mid-Atlantic as a leader in the sport is a tremendous honor and is a true testament to the hard work that Forrest and the Sportable staff, volunteers, coaches, and sponsors put into providing a top class experience for wheelchair tennis players in our community and beyond. We are grateful for the opportunity to bring a spotlight to adaptive sports in RVA.”
Each year, USTA Mid-Atlantic honors its members, players, providers, and organizers that support and grow tennis in the Section and are excelling at many levels to go above and beyond for tennis and the well-being of others. This year, USTA Mid-Atlantic turned to the tennis community to nominate outstanding individuals and community providers for the “USTA Mid-Atlantic Creates” awards, receiving more than 120 nominations over the three-week nomination period.
Wheelchair tennis is one of 15 adaptive sports offered by Sportable with opportunities for both recreational and competitive athletes to train and compete in Richmond. The spring 2021 season culminated with the first-ever River City Slam wheelchair tennis tournament June 11-13, 2021 with nearly 60 players participating at the state-of-the-art courts at the Williams Bollettieri Tennis Center at Collegiate School’s Robins Campus. Eight local players, including Division B Doubles Champions Bruce Patton (Manakin Sabot) and Chris Lamps (Richmond), competed against players from 19 states from California to Virginia.
One of the fastest growing wheelchair sports in the world, wheelchair tennis is played on a standard tennis court in the same way as able-bodied tennis, with the only exception being that a wheelchair tennis player is allowed two bounces of the ball. The athlete’s wheelchair is considered to be a part of the body, so rules applying to the player’s body apply to the chair as well. Wheelchair tennis has been part of the Paralympic Games since 1992 and has been played at all four Grand Slams since 2007.