The Miami-Dade Park and Recreation Department's (MDPR) Disability Services division has teamed up with the United States Tennis Association (USTA) Florida Section to offer junior wheelchair tennis for children age 8 and up who use wheelchairs. The wheelchair program will be utilizing the 'QuickStart' Tennis play format, using softer balls, shorter courts and lighter rackets for the participants. The program kicks off April 9 and will be held every Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Tamiami Tennis Center, 11201 SW 24 St., Miami.
"Sports partners such as the USTA Florida, are vital to Miami-Dade Parks' efforts to provide fun and inclusive recreational opportunities for children with disabilities in our community," said MDPR Disability Services Manager Lucy Binhack. "Accessible-sports programs, such as our Junior Wheelchair Tennis program gives children who use wheelchairs the tools and motivation to achieve their own personal best, resulting in improved health, fitness and self-esteem."
The Junior Wheelchair Tennis program was made possible through USTA Florida's 'Share the Love' grant initiative. The Junior Wheelchair Tennis program provides wheelchair tennis lessons and sports equipment to children who use wheelchairs, so they can participate in this sport.
MDPR is a Paralympic Sport Club and Blaze Sports Club. Paralympics and Blaze Sports are national organizations that promote sports development for athletes with physical and visual disabilities of all ages at recreational to competitive levels.
The cost for the Junior Wheelchair Tennis program is $40 per session, which includes eight tennis lessons. Scholarships are available through the Leisure Access Foundation. For more information call 305-365-6706.
Nationally accredited, a three-time winner of the National Gold Medal Award, 2009 Florida Governor's Sterling Award winner for excellence in management and operations, MDPR is the third largest county park system in the United States, consisting of 263 parks and more than 12,848 acres of land. It is one of the most unique park and recreation systems in the world. Made up of more than just playgrounds and athletic fields, it also comprises out-of-school, sports-development, and summer-camp programs; programs for seniors and people with disabilities; educational nature centers and nature preserves; environmental restoration efforts; arts and culture programs and events; the renowned Zoo Miami and the Deering Estate at Cutler; the Crandon Tennis Center, home of the Sony Ericsson Open; golf courses; beaches; marinas; campgrounds; pools; and more. For information about MDPR the public can call 3-1-1 or visit www.miamidade.gov/parks.