RICHMOND, VA – (Monday, May 10, 2021) – Sportable, Central Virginia’s premier adaptive sports club, is proud to host a Juniors Wheelchair Tennis Camp, led by Paralympian Shelby Baron and presented by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation, June 11-13, 2021 in Richmond, VA. Registration is available now for juniors wheelchair tennis players ages 5-18.
“We are so excited to have someone of Shelby’s caliber helping us lead the juniors camp,” commented Forrest Lodge, Sportable Program Manager and River City Slam Tournament Director. “It will be an awesome opportunity for junior athletes who aren’t quite tournament-ready to get the chance to learn from one of the top players and coaches in the country. This camp will serve as a catalyst to help foster growth within junior wheelchair tennis in the Mid-Atlantic section!”
“I am excited and honored to be a part of Sportable’s initiative to grow junior wheelchair tennis,” added Shelby Baron. “Tennis was such an important part of my life growing up and I want to be able to provide the same opportunities for junior players. With the pandemic cancelling so many programs and camps across the country, this camp will be the perfect way to get kids out and playing sports again.”
With an emphasis on fun, the three-day camp will focus on teamwork and individual skill development for everyone from beginners to aspiring Paralympians. Participants will also have the opportunity to try out their new skills in unsanctioned match play throughout the event as part of the USTA sanctioned River City Slam wheelchair tennis tournament, presented by The Abstract Athlete that weekend.
“What better way to continue our partnership with Sportable than by bringing a Paralympian to educate and teach our athletes, and help grow our youth program,” said Scott Golden, Sportable board of directors chair and director, Corporate Communications for Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Virginia. “As we continue to ramp up programming, we are thrilled to offer our athletes the opportunity to learn from the best.”
The camp and tournament matches will take place at The Collegiate School’s Williams Bolletieri Tennis Center at its Robins Campus. The cost is $30 per player and includes tournament registration, lunch, and official event giveaways.
A native of Hawaii, Baron was born with Spina Bifida and has played wheelchair tennis since 2010. She was named to Team USA and competed at the 2016 Rio Paralympics while playing collegiate wheelchair tennis at the University of Alabama. She is currently working as the assistant coach for University of Alabama’s Wheelchair Tennis program and has her sights set on competing at the Tokyo Paralympics.
Additionally, the tournament weekend will include a Wheelchair Tennis Coach Development Workshop, hosted by USTA, Move United, and the Department of Veterans Affairs. The workshop is designed to share best practices for teaching wheelchair tennis to disabled veterans at a recreational level and to share with enthusiasm, innovation and relevancy, wheelchair tennis information to help expand access to the sport. At no cost, the training is suitable for healthcare staff, adaptive sport providers, and other tennis coaches who seek to expand their skillset.
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.
For more information about the River City Slam, presented by The Abstract Athlete, or about the Juniors Wheelchair Tennis Camp, presented by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation, including sponsorship and volunteer opportunities, please contact Forrest Lodge at email@example.com or 804-340-2991.
Wheelchair tennis is one of 15 competitive and recreational sports provided by Sportable, Central Virginia’s premier adaptive sports club. Sportable has created opportunities and transformed the lives of individuals with physical disabilities and visual impairments through sport since 2005. By fostering a fun, inclusive, competitive, and accessible environment, Sportable transforms the lives of athletes and frees them to see beyond their disabilities, enhances their peer relationships and helps them to reach their personal finish line. For more information about Sportable, please visit Sportable.org.