Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Tennis clinic for athletes with disabilities heads to Arlington Park

The Tennis For Fun program is making a move to the Sarasota mainland after a stint on Longboat Key.


Volunteer Brenda Terihay taps rackets with Bryanna Schmidt after a successful point in a 2022 session of Tennis for Fun on Longboat Key.
Volunteer Brenda Terihay taps rackets with Bryanna Schmidt after a successful point in a 2022 session of Tennis for Fun on Longboat Key.
File
  • Sarasota
  • Neighbors
  • Share

Tennis For Fun has moved to Arlington Park from Longboat Key, where the program can serve more athletes with intellectual disabilities who are interested in tennis.

For an hour beginning at 4:30 p.m. every Wednesday, Tennis For Fun offers a free clinic on three courts at Arlington Park. The program welcomes athletes who qualify for the Special Olympics from ages 8 to 50 who have an interest in learning and enjoying tennis.

Tennis For Fun is a free tennis program and volunteer organization that offers the opportunity to learn basic court skills, socialize with other participants and have fun.

Ron Shields helps Bryanna Schmidt with her racket.

This program started on Longboat Key in 2020, but Training Site Director Brenda Shields and Tennis Professional Ron Shields realized that the program would benefit more people if they stayed on the mainland.

“After our second season we decided to move the program from the Longboat Key Public Tennis Center into the city of Sarasota to reach and serve more participants,” Ron and Brenda Shields said in an email. “As you know, traffic on Longboat Key can be a major delay and deterrent for parents getting athletes to Longboat Key especially during season.”

Tamara Wright, Bryanna Schmidt and Chris Goodwin warm up before a 2022 session of Tennis For Fun on Longboat Key.

All volunteers must pass a background check through the Special Olympics organization. All interested athletes must be cleared by their family physician to participate in the sport.

“We are fortunate to have our trained volunteers from Longboat Key who are passionate about tennis,” Ron and Brenda Shields said. “We are wanting to grow the athletes.”

 

author

Dariela Delgado

Dariela is the Sarasota community reporter for the Observer. After graduating from Florida State University with degrees in English and education, she’s been a writer and an editor for publications in Tallahassee and Sarasota. In her free time she gives violin lessons.

Related Articles