CHARLESTON, SC, USA - Eventual Volvo Car Open champion Kiki Bertens and doubles star Raquel Atawo hit the court last week in Charleston for an adaptive tennis hitting session with South Carolina’s Special Olympics athletes.
The mission of adaptive tennis is to ensure that people of any age, environment, condition or ability are able to enjoy the sport of tennis, with appropriate equipment and adaptations. At the Volvo Car Open, Special Olympics athletes from the “Area 6” adaptive tennis program gave WTA stars a demonstration on how it works and how to play.
“We don’t have disabilities, we have different abilities…,” Alyssa Balchar, who will compete in adaptive tennis at the Special Olympics National Games, told The Daniel Island News.
“We do things the same as everyone else. I have multiple disabilities and even though they get to me, I just have to accept, for me that’s who I am. It takes time.”
Ann Austin, WTA Charities program administrator, added, “Our mission is to be involved in the communities that our tournaments are in from week to week. What is important to our tournaments is important to us. We want to support any community initiatives at each tournament that we go to.”
WTA Charities is the WTA's global philanthropic organization dedicated to making a positive impact across the globe. Our mission is to be a social responsibility vehicle built on the WTA's values to empower and provide for a better future. We're dedicated to combining, strengthening and enhancing the community and charitable efforts of the WTA through its members (players, alumnae and tournaments), along with our partners.