Touch of Tennis class of­fers fun for ev­ery­one

The Ambler Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - By Linda Stein

Laugh­ter, cries of joy and the thump of tennis balls punc­tu­ated the Touch of Tennis class Wed­nes­day, Aug. 15 at GwynHGG-0HUFy Col­lHJH.

The award-win­ning class for in­di­vid­u­als with spe­cial needs was started 14 years ago by Jim Holt, the col­lege’s tennis coach. The pro­gram, which runs ev­ery sum­mer, is free and has about 50 par­tic­i­pants this year.

“, lLNH Wo EH wLWh Py IULHnGs,” sDLG Phil Tap­per, 25, of Hor­sham, as he hHlG D WHn­nLs UDFTuHW. “, lLNH Wo plDy D loW.”

Tap­per has par­tic­i­pated in Touch of Tennis for about 10 years.

“ThH NLGs DnG WhH IDPLlLHs UHDlly Dp­pUHFLDWH LW,” sDLG ChuFN SFDUlDWo, oI Hor­sham, one of the di­rec­tors. “They looN IoUwDUG Wo LW.”

SFDUlDWo hDs WDuJhW DnG FoDFhHG WHn­nLs DnG hDs D EDFNJUounG Ln WhHUDpHu­tic re­cre­ation, he said.

ThH pDUWLFLpDnWs hLW JUounGsWUoNHs and vol­leys as the evening pro­gressed.

“WH MusW WUy Wo PDNH LW D Iun Hx­pHULHnFH, D posLWLvH Hx­pHULHnFH,” sDLG SFDUlDWo. ThH pDUWLFLpDnWs FoPH IoU “WhH FDPDUDGHULH” Ds PuFh Ds WhH WHn­nLs, hH sDLG. “ThHy Nnow HDFh oWhHU. ThHy puW LW on WhHLU soFLDl FDlHnGDU.”

“,W’s Iun IoU HvHUy­onH Ln­volvHG,” said A.J. Garabe­dian, an­other di­rec­tor. GDUDEHGLDn, oI Con­shohoFNHn, sDLG hH en­joys help­ing and teach­ing tennis to “pHo­plH who wDnW Wo JHW Ln­volvHG.”

“,W’s so PuFh Iun,” sDLG SWHphHn No­cero, 23, of Hor­sham, an­other parWLFLpDnW. “, lLNH WhLs plDFH.”

CoULnD DDvLs, 19, oI LDn­sGDlH wDs vol­unWHHULnJ. ShH’s D spHFLDl HGuFD­tion ma­jor at Gwynedd-Mercy and on the tennis team there.

“, lovH WHn­nLs,” shH sDLG. “,W’s JUHDW EHLnJ ouW hHUH. ,W’s so PuFh Iun.”

3DUWLFLpDnW $lDLnD CDIIDUHllo, 22,

agreed that it was “good fun.”

phe was with her sis­ter, Jenna Caf­farello, 18, DOVR D PHPEHU RI WKH GwynHdd-0HUFy tennis team and a vol­un­teer.

Maria Pfeif­fer, of Hat­boro, grad­u­ated IURP GwynHdd-0HUFy Ln 2008 EuW FRnWLnues to vol­un­teer with Touch of Tennis and is a di­rec­tor.

“Jim started it and it’s grown each year,” said Pfeif­fer. “Ev­ery­body who helps out vol­un­teers.”

In ad­di­tion to the col­lege’s tennis team, students from pt. Joseph Univer­sity, Cabrini Col­lege and Mo­ra­vian Col­lege vol­un­teer, as well as students from lo­cal high schools, in­clud­ing six from Hat­boro-Hor­sham High pchool, vol­un­teered, said Holt. The clinic meets once a week for six weeks dur­ing the sum­mer.

“It’s a very unique sit­u­a­tion and a very JRRd fiW,” VDLd HROW. “,W’V VuFK D unLTuH blend of peo­ple. It’s a melt­ing pot.”

Last year, the United ptates Tennis As­so­ci­a­tion (UpTAF hon­ored Touch of Tennis with its 2010 Na­tional Adap­tive per­vice Award for con­tin­ued ex­cel­lence and ded­ica- tion in the community.

Holt, a spe­cial ed­u­ca­tion teacher, said he be­lieved there was a lack of op­por­tu­ni­ties for peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties and stepped Ln WR fiOO WKH JDS. 7KH SODyHUV, yRunJ Dnd adult, come with phys­i­cal and in­tel­lec­tual dis­abil­i­ties in­clud­ing cere­bral palsy, Down Vyn­dURPH, VSLnD EL­fidD, )UDJLOH X Vyn­dURPH, autism and Asperger’s syn­drome. The play­ers not only get some ex­er­cise, their self­es­teem gets a boost, as well.

To vol­un­teer or do­nate to off­set the cost of equip­ment, contact Holt at holt.j@gmc.edu

Photo by MARK C. PSORAS

In­struc­tor Jenna Caf­farello, left, and her sis­ter, Alaina, line up a shot dur­ing the Touch of Tennis clinic at Gwynedd-Mercy Col­lege.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.