Submitted photo and press release:
The month-long Challenger Tennis Program is in its third week. This collaborative community program offers children with disabilities, ages 5-21, a fun adaptive tennis program in a success-oriented atmosphere.
The first session was held Sept. 10. It's held for four consecutive Sundays from 4:30 to 6 p.m. at the Batavia High School tennis courts.
A "Tennis Carnival" is scheduled at the program's conclusion on Oct. 1.
Collaborative partners are the Batavia Youth Bureau, which is the lead facilitator of the program, Arc of Genesee Orleans, Genesee County YMCA and the U.S. Tennis Association Eastern/Western Region.
A total of 10 athletes are participating this year alongside volunteers from area high schools, Genesee Community College and the community. Volunteers attended training, facilitated by Shelley Falitico, director of Development at Arc Genesee Orleans, on disability awareness and sensitivity training.
The tennis players begin each session with a warm up and do some stretching exercises. They rotate through adapted tennis activity stations, addressing skills such as balance, hand-eye coordination, team work, speed and agility, accuracy and movements forward, backward and side-to-side.
The Oct. 1 "Tennis Carnival" will offer the participating athletes an opportunity to earn "Challenger Cash" at each station and buy prizes such as tennis racquets, tennis balls, board games, candy, kites, movie DVDs, books and more.
The next Challenger sport to be offered will be basketball, beginning in November. Community members interested in volunteering, including college and high school students looking for community service hours, are welcome to donate their time for a Challenger sport. It's a great experience for all involved!
For more information, to register or to volunteer, call the YMCA at 344-1664.