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OPAF wheelchair tennis training and clinics

The Orthotic and Prosthetic Activities Foundation (OPAF) is bringing five tennis clinics to the Carolinas over the next two months. OPAF is partnering with USTA North Carolina, USTA South Carolina and USTA Wheelchair to offer trainings for teaching pros, therapists, and wheelchair and adaptive tennis players.

Clinics will feature several notable names from the wheelchair tennis community, including two-time U.S. Paralympic athlete Karin Korb, USTA Wheelchair national head coach Dan James and wheelchair tennis coach Frank Adams. Each clinic will have a morning session for teaching pros and therapists, and the afternoon session will be for clinic participants.

Here's the schedule for 2015

Date City Location
June 6 Rock Hill, SC Rock Hill Tennis Center
June 13 Wilmington, NC Althea Gibson Tennis Center
June 15 Raleigh, NC Millbrook Tennis Center
July 18 Boiling Springs, NC Gardner-Webb Tennis Center
July 20 Greenville, SC Kroc Tennis Center

OPAF, a nonprofit organization based out of Charlotte, focuses on improve the quality of life for orthotic and prosthetic patients through health and fitness programs. Robin Burton, OPAF Executive Director, helped broaden the range of their tennis clinics when she came to the organization in 2005.

“When I took over as executive director, rather than focusing on that elite athlete, we changed the focus to anyone with a physical or mobility challenge, introducing or reintroducing them to a sport or activity that they thought wasn’t available to them any longer,” Burton said. ”The goal is two-fold here, to provide some training in the morning for the tennis teaching pros in the area, along with local physical therapists, recreational therapists who have an interest in wheelchair tennis to give them a kind of train the trainer experience. We also want to build the local program in the cities we’re visiting.”

The clinics typically include 15-20 players going through different skills and trainings, with any and every skill level involved. Burton wants people to know that these clinics are for everyone, and she encourages anyone interested to give it a try.

“People view wheelchair tennis on the national stage like Conner Stroud. Conner didn’t start at that level. You’ve got to start by learning the basics, and everybody should have the opportunity for recreation at a level that’s comfortable for them,” Burton said. “We’re not going to turn you into Conner in one day. Come out and give it a try. See if wheelchair tennis can be part of your lifetime recreation in your local community.”

If you want to register for one the OPAF clinics, click on the link in the schedule above.
For more information on OPAF, go to www.opafonline.org.