If you’ve never played tennis, or you’re looking to learn more about the game, the U.S. Tennis Association-Midwest Section invites you to its second Play Tennis Midwest interactive tennis program on Saturday, May 14, at the Homewood-Flossmoor Racquet & Fitness Club, 2920 W. 183rd St. in Homewood.
Tennis racquets will be provided to those who want to have a try at the game. The day’s events run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and are free. The schedule is:
• Youth beginner clinic (ages 5-10), 9 to 10 a.m.
• Adaptive clinic, 10 to 11 a.m.
• Wheelchair clinic, 11 a.m. to noon.
• Wheelchair tennis exhibition with former Paralympian Paul Moran and others from the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab.
• Adult Beginner Clinic, 1 to 3 p.m.
Register online here.
The U.S. Tennis Association says since 2019 tennis participation has grown significantly with 4.9 million more people taking to the courts. Many participants wanted to pick up a new sport that was easy to learn and safe to play in a pandemic. These clinic sessions are intended to encourage kids and adults to learn the game, or return to the game they may have enjoyed but set aside.
“What I’m looking forward to most is seeing new athletes leave with the feeling that this sport is for them; that this opportunity changed their perception of what they can do,” said Kyle Hitzelberg, the sports coordinator at Shirley Ryan AbilityLab. He is working with Moran who is an ambassador for Shirley Ryan AbilityLab in Chicago.
Moran will be helping new players learn the basics of the game. Moran is a former Paralympian from Winnetka who competed on Team USA’s Wheelchair Tennis team at the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games. He teaches tennis to able-bodied players and runs a wheelchair clinic in partnership with the Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association.