The official blog of the ATANC.
We are less than two weeks away from our first national tournament in NC. The Winston Adaptive Open will be held at the Vision Tennis Center in Clemmons, NC from May 16th-May18th. It is not too late to register, the registration will close on Monday May 6th.
We are offering full court, short court, doubles and unified doubles and skills. Athletes from NC and other states will have a couple of days of fun, tennis, games, making new friends and a baseball game. Go to the Events page under NC Tournaments for more info.Tags: Untagged Read More
3rd Annual Spring Thaw Adaptive Tournament
It’s time for ATANC’s 1st tournament of the year! The 3rd Annual "Spring Thaw" Adaptive Tennis Tournament will take place in Wilmington, NC on April 13, 2013. The tournament will be held at Althea Gibson Tennis Center at Empie Park from 9:30am – 4:30pm. We look forward to seeing all our friends from past tournaments.
Saturday will start with player sign-in at 9:30am. Play will start at 10am. The morning will see Singles competition (short court and full court) with fun Unified Double/Partnered Doubles (short court and full court) in the afternoon. Lunch will be provided.
Our host hotel is Holiday Inn Express. Please call them directly to make reservations.
Holiday Inn Express
160 Van Campen Boulevard
Wilmington, NC 28403
$107 for 2 double beds
High speed internet
Must book by 3/21/2013
After 3/21/2013, rooms will be release, however, if you call and let them know you are with the Spring Thaw Adaptive Tennis Tournament, they will still honor the rate above.
Extra fun in Wilmington…Plan to stay the weekend and enjoy the wonderful Azalea Festival. For more than 50 years, the folks of Southeastern North Carolina have been throwing the best party in the South and you’re invited!
There’s something for everyone among our community’s rich array of artwork, gardens, history and culture. Come join us!
The weekend of April 13 and April 14, the NC Azalea Festival is celebrated in Wilmington. Street festival, music, art…Check it all out at: http://www.ncazaleafestival.org/all-about-us/events/
To register for the tournament, go to www.ATANC.org. First register as an Athlete or Unified Partner at the top of the page. You will choose a user name and password. Once you are registered as a member of the website.. go to EVENTS at the top of the page, click on NC Tournaments, click on 3rd Annual "Spring Thaw", click on the box next to "I will go to this event" and finally click on "Register". All Athletes and partners must register. Below you will find our schedule.
Schedule for the Day
9:30am Athlete and Volunteer Sign-In
10:00am Tournament begins
12:45pm Competition continues
1:00pm Coaches Training
4:00pm Tennis Carnival
5:00pm Event ends
Rain Date Sunday, April 14th
3405 Park Avenue
The complex has:
- 19 tennis courts with lights
- 1500 sq. ft. clubhouse with lounge, meeting room, and snack counter
Due to all the snow we are not having tennis today. See you next weekTags: Untagged Read More
Can you believe it is 2013 already? Here at the ATANC we are really excited about all the opportunities that are available this year to our athletes, their families and the community. We will once again have a tournament in Wilmington, Charlotte, Raleigh and this year our tournament in Winston Salem is part of the national series. It will be a 3 day event starting on May 16-19th. Mark your calendar now!!!
We are going to give points as part of our tournaments (just like the pro's) and the athletes with the highest point score will have an opportunity to potentially play at the Winston Open in August. More information on this to come. Our next tournament will be held in Wilmington on April 13th.
One of the ATANC's goals is to offer tennis to children in the school system. We are very excited to announce that we recently won a grant from USTA Serves to help this initiative. Wake County Public School Systems and the ATANC are partnering to offer tennis to children with intellectual disabilities an opportunity to play tennis and get exercise as part of the PE curriculum. Our goal is to pilot the PEAT program at WCPSS and then take it across the state to other school systems.
We have a new Board of Directors. Please welcome Robert Edwards as our new President, Susan Lemmons as our VP of Finance, Jessie Taliaferro as our VP of Community Relations and Debbie Ratliff as our VP of Administration. This is a wonderful, passionate, knowledgeable group of people who are going to get things done.
If you would like to be more involved in the ATANC and want to help, please let us know. We would love to hear from you.
Several places across the state have already started up their practices. So get out on the courts, practice hard, make friends and we look forward to seeing you at our next tournament in Wilmington on April 13th, 2013.Tags: Untagged Read More
For the 5th year running the ATANC is partnering with the NC State Women's tennis team and 5 local high school students to put on an amazing tournament for our adaptive athletes. This event is open to athletes from all over the state. We will have skills, short court and full court singles and in the afternoon the athletes will get to play with the NC State girls and the volunteers for unified doubles.
Five local high school students, Emily, Chris, Marissa, Cassie and Emma and NC State players have been planning a wonderful day of events from matches to ice breakers to dinner and a dance. The students are raising money, ordering t-shirts, trophies, recruiting volunteers and running the event. They have worked hard and are looking forward to welcoming everyone.
Go to the events page and register now. Please include your t-shirt size and rating.
Our 3rd tournament of the year was in Charlotte at the Jeff Adams tennis center. We had a beautiful Carolina blue sky and some amazing energetic volunteers. We arrived early to numerous volunteers already setting up for the day. The stars of the day, our athletes started pouring in to check in and before we knew it, it was time to start.
When putting on an event like this we couldn't do it without all of our wonderful volunteers. Each volunteer received a lime green shirt while the athlete received a white one. It was so cool to look out on the courts and see all the green shirts running picking up balls, keeping score and cheering on our stars. Thank you to each volunteer for your enthusiasm, encouragement, hard work and being willing to give it your all.
"When is it my turn to play?" was said many times. The athletes were eager to get out on the courts and show us their skills. We had so many matches go to a 3rd set tie breaker. Our skills athletes worked so hard in the heat, yet didn't complain. I am so proud of the effort put forth by our athletes. It was hot out there yet they gave their all. Way to go athletes!!!
In between the matches the teen tennis council had organized games and activities for the athletes to participate in. What a fabolous idea. I kept hearing "BINGO" and a lot of laughter.
Seeing old friends and making new friends, having another opportunity to compete is why the ATANC and our partners put on an event like this. Special thanks go out to our partners, Charlotte Tennis Association, Am WINS, Chick Fil A, Jeff Adams Tennis Center, Canteen, Cafe Nirvana and the USTA NC. With their support we were able to put on a wonderful, fun filled day.
Special thanks goes out to Jeff Baird, Lisa from the tennis center,Bob Bowler and our area director Dori Carzola for all their help. We look forward to coming back to Charlotte in 2013.
Our last ATANC tournament of the year will be held in Raleigh at NC State. The tentative date is set for Saturday December 1st. Keep checking back on our website for more information and to register. We look forward to seeing you then.Tags: Untagged Read More
Winston Adaptive Open
We had a wonderful day in Clemmons, NC at Vision Tennis Center. Athletes from as far as Wilmington, Raleigh, Jacksonville, Johnston County and Winston Salem played many hours of wonderful tennis. Many of the matches went to tie breakers and fun was had by all. The ATANC would like to thank Charles Hunsucker our local area director for all his hard work. We would also like to thank Vision Tennis Center and Alex Rucker who welcomed us with open arms. However our biggest thanks goes to all the volunteers who put in many hours picking up balls and officiating but I think they all would say having an opportunity to play with our athletes was the high light of the day.
Offering these tournaments throughout the year is so worth the effort. Our athletes are the stars and we are amazed at how much they are improving. We are proud of each of you for your wonderful attitudes, work ethic, big smiles and the BEST hugs, the friendships that are forming and for teaching each one of us how much fun tennis can be. We love you and look forward to the next tournament in Belton, SC and then we all meet up in Charlotte on September 8th.Tags: Untagged Read More
IT IS TIME TO REGISTER FOR OUR 2ND TOURNAMENT OF THE YEAR.
WINSTON ADAPTIVE OPEN 2012 ON SATURDAY MAY 12TH,
THE REGISTRATION PAGE IS OPEN SO PLEASE GO AND REGISTER.
WE ARE GOING TO BE PLAYING TENNIS AT VISION TENNIS CENTER. THIS IS A WONDERFUL INDOOR TENNIS CENTER WITH AIR CONDITIONING. WE WILL BE ABLE TO PLAY RAIN OR SHINE.
CALL AND E-MAIL YOUR FRIENDS AND COME OUT AND LETS PLAY SOME TENNIS
GO TO THE REGISTRATION PAGE UNDER NC TOURNAMENTSTags: Untagged Read More
Are you ready to see old friends and get back out on the tennis courts competing again?
Then sign up for our first tournament of the year in Wilmington. This is our 2nd year heading to Wilmington and we are very exctied. Billie Fitzsimmons and her team with the Wilmington Tennis Association and the ATANC are ready for a great day of tennis.
Saturday February 25th from 9:30-5:00 in Wilmington. Go to the NC tournament registration page to sign up and to see who is else is going and for more info. Hotel information will be post this week.Tags: Untagged Read More
Athletes, we will start our weekly practices on Saturday Januarty 21st. We have moved our practice time to 3:30-5:00 pm so that we can continue to use the indoor tennis courts at Raleigh Racket Club. Bring your friends with you. We look forward to seeing you on the courts.
Our next tournament will be held in Wilmington on February 25th. Save the date and more info will be forth coming.
KirstieTags: Untagged Read More
Tennis event for special needs athletes warms hearts
Four local teenagers who set out to plan a fun day of tennis for a group of special needs athletes at North Raleigh Racquet Club got more out of the event than they gave.
Great weather didn’t hurt either.
When officials with the Adaptive Tennis Association of North Carolina named their signature event “Winter Chill,” they could not have known that Dec. 4 would feel more like a spring day.
Athletes and volunteers shed their jackets for the Fourth Annual Winter Chill and enjoyed the warm sunlight.
Emily Ratliffe, 15, who plays tennis at Ravenscroft School, knows firsthand how sports can make magic for athletes with intellectual disabilities. Her brother, Kevin Ratliffe, is a special needs player and has inspired her to get involved in adaptive tennis.
“I have seen over the years how great Kevin’s volunteer tennis partners have been,” she said. “Before he started playing tennis, he didn’t socialize much, but now he is very social. Many athletes like Kevin open up through tennis.”
Volunteering has given Ratliffe more self-confidence too.
“I have always been shy, but through this program, I am not afraid to get up in front of people and give speeches anymore,” she said. “These athletes inspire me to be my best.”
Another of the event organizers, Madison McCarroll of Apex, is a believer.
“It is great to see the difference tennis makes in these athletes’ lives,” said McCarroll, 17.
Sports have transformed Kristine Hughes, who was among the 16 athletes who played adaptive tennis at Winter Chill.
Hughes was well into adulthood when she realized she was eligible to play sports with Special Olympics.
She had grown up, played tennis in high school and at a community college in California, and had even served as a fire recruit in the U.S. Navy before she knew that she had a disability.
“I had always known I was different, but I did not know why,” she said.
Hughes, 39, spent her childhood years in the foster care system. Using her connections through the Navy, Hughes acquired some of her early medical records and learned she was born with fetal alcohol syndrome.
Throughout her life, sports have been good therapy for her.
“God gave me the ability to play sports and to have fun,” she said.
She lives with a family she met while living in Idaho. They moved to Raleigh three years ago and invited her to move with them. She is studying office administration at Wake Technical Community College with a goal to graduate in 2013.
She’s a star on the Special Olympics of North Carolina tennis circuit and has been invited to play at The Xperience, a three-day tennis festival at the Boars Head Inn in Charlottesville, Va., Jan. 12-14, where she will face other top Special Olympics tennis players in the country.
Kirstie Marx, tennis pro at the Kildaire Farms Swim and Racquet Club in Cary, is one of the ATANC’s founders and serves as the organization’s vice president. She is also director of the Tennis Sports Development Team for Special Olympics North Carolina and has coached tennis athletes with intellectual disabilities for 11 years.
She helped form ATANC to give special needs tennis players an opportunity to play year round. The organization, included under the US Tennis Association umbrella, has applied for official nonprofit status from the IRS. Marx expects to receive approval soon.
“Tennis is my passion,” Marx said. “I am a dreamer, but I never dreamed we’d have come this far.”
Marx’s daughter Emma, 14, joined the other teenagers who planned the Winter Chill event. She jokes that she didn’t have much choice about getting involved in the event, but she is glad she did.
“We wanted to make the day special for the athletes,” Emma said.
Meeting a legend
The day was special for Emma and the other volunteers, too.
The ATANC partners with the Western Wake Tennis Association and N.C. State University to produce the annual Winter Chill.
The Wolfpack women’s tennis team partnered with the adaptive athletes for a few rounds of doubles.
Later, volunteers and athletes gathered at the J.W. Isenhour Indoor Tennis Center at NCSU to meet professional players, including John Isner, a player from Greensboro who famously won the longest match in tennis history in Wimbledon in 2010.
Isner was in Raleigh to play in the Second Annual Charity Tennis Exhibition to benefit Ovarian Cancer Research at Duke University.
Isner answered questions, signed autographs, and posed for photos, thrilling athletes and volunteers alike.
“This is a wonderful program,” Hughes said. “It gives athletes a chance to play, to be leaders, and to have fun. And giving athletes a chance is important.”
Calling all athletes and volunteers!!!
Once again the ATANC is partnering with the NC State Women's Tennis team and Western Wake Tennis Association for our 4th annual Winter Chill. This tournament is run by 4 local high school students. The tournament will start at 9:00 am and we will play 2 rounds of singles followed by unified doubles. For several years the athletes have asked to play with the NC State girls, well here is your chance. The Wolf Pack girls and volunteers are going to partner with the athletes to play some unified doubles. Lunch will be provided. First 50 volunteers to sign up get a free shirt. Register here on the site under NC tournaments. If you haven't registered on the site please do so first. Once you are approved you can then register for the Winter Chill. See you in a few weeks.Tags: Untagged Read More
I hope everyone has been training hard and are ready for the Special Olympics Qualifiers this coming weekend. On Saturday October 1st we will have the Eastern Qualifier in Durham and on Sunday October 2nd we will have the Western Qualifier in Charlotte. The weather looks fantastic and we are going to have a great time. Looking forward to seeing everyone on the courts.
KirstieTags: Untagged Read More
Tonight several of our North Carolina athletes will get to go on the center court and play tennis at the Winston Open.
The ATANC is being featured right before Andy Roddick takes to the court to play his opening match. Alongside with wheelchair tennis the ATANC will have an opportunity to show everyone what we are doing.Tags: Untagged Read More