Adaptive tennis keeps people with disabilities active - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Adaptive tennis keeps people with disabilities active

by Danielle Wagner

WATERLOO (KWWL)-- Eastern Iowans with disabilities are hitting the tennis courts to stay active.

The United States Tennis Association and Orthotic and Prosthetic Assistance Fund teamed up to offer adaptive tennis.

Anyone with a some type of physical or mental disability is invited to attend.

22-year-old Bobby Johnson from Cedar Falls came to play.

"I like tennis so I thought I might as well come and be with friends and play tennis," said Johnson.

Johnson said he doesn't want being in a wheelchair to keep him from staying active.

"Oh, I love it. Gives me exercise," he said.

Adaptive tennis in Waterloo is open to anyone with a physical or mental disability.

Volunteers chase down the tennis balls and help keep the volley going. Cassi Ubben is the instructor and gives some tips on technique.

"It's always healthy to remain active and it's good to get out and be around people and do stuff outside. We'd eventually like to create a wheelchair tennis program in the Cedar Valley," said Cassi Ubben.

Organizer Robin Burton said these outings are about more than physical activity.

"The activity is only half of the benefit. The socialization aspect they get because they're in a group with people facing similar challenges. They aren't different. They're just like everybody else," said Robin Burton.

Burton said the only thing the participants need to bring is a willing attitude and a smile is nice too.

"We don't like to use the word disability. We like to take the "dis" out of disability and leave them with abilities they're actively pursuing," said Burton.

The goal is to keep adaptive tennis going at Byrnes Park until Mother Nature takes a turn for the worse, and then organizers are working on a plan to move inside.

Adaptive tennis is each Tuesday at Byrnes Park in Waterloo. It runs from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

For more information, you can contact Robin Burton at 319-235-4318.

Reporter: Danielle Wagner

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