President’s Message – Q1 2017
This is my inaugural address – or memo, rather – so let me first say that I am very excited to be at the helm of such an incredible organization. Before I get into the updates and strides our team has made over the last three months, I’d like to briefly share what the game has meant to me.
Tennis has been in my life since I was five years old. It would be an understatement to say that the game has greatly impacted my life (both on and off the court). From the beginning, I met and worked with remarkable coaches. I played exceptionally talented opponents. I won some. I lost a lot. But most importantly, I fell in love. Indeed, tennis is more than a game – and I love it! It encourages competition. It requires drive and motivation. It demands etiquette and sportsmanship, and it nurtures a sense of self-reliance and self-worth unique to all other sports.
Our mission at ATANC is simple – put a racquet in the hands of those with intellectual disabilities and celebrate the joys of the game. As our organization grows and the footprint expands to a larger population of Athletes, we will continue to foster the Athletes’ love for the game. As champions of the sport, in the metaphorical sense, our team knows that an Athlete’s love will transcend beyond the confines of the white lines and into a love for their fellow Athletes, and even a love for themselves. We encourage all of you to join us at events, tournaments, & clinics. Come meet our champions – perhaps you will learn something from them too!
What we’ve been up to in 2017 so far:
Thanks to the incredible leadership and commitment from our board members, volunteers, and most significantly, our Executive Director, Lou Welch – 2017 has already been an exciting year and we are just three months in. Here’s what we’ve been up to:
- Adaptive tennis takes the stage: At the 2017 NC Tennis Association Annual Conference in Pinehurst, the adaptive committee officially voted the “Adaptive Award” onto the ballot. This award was created in order to recognize the incredible leadership and talent, of an organization or an individual, within the adaptive tennis community. The first annual award will be presented at the 2018 NC Tennis Association Annual Conference.
- Swing into Spring: What a hit! Thanks to Lou Welch and her co-captain, Billie Fitzsimons (Peggy Golden Award Winner), for organizing and leading such a great event. On Saturday, February 25, we had 28 athletes participate in unified doubles and 15 athletes in the skills portion. We had ample unified partners including participation from the UNCW men’s tennis team.
- ATANC on the map: We have really been spreading the love, with 7 trainings hosted during Q1! And, we added two new clinic sites with 23 new coaches/volunteers across the state. We also have potential new partnerships in Burlington, Lake Norman, and Kinston (we’ll keep you posted). A special thank you to Lou Welch for her commitment & efforts!
We look forward to seeing you on the courts!