On Sunday, November 20, more than 50 spectators and 130 tennis players, including 30 wheelchair players, gathered for the annual Strokes for Spokes Tennis tournament at UNC-Charlotte’s  Halton Wagner Tennis Complex. The annual fundraising event raises vital funds for the Adaptive Sports and Rehabilitation Program offered at Carolinas Rehabilitation (Carolinas HealthCare System). Following a round-robin format with six, 20-minute rounds of play, the tournament ended with two semi final matches and one final match. Both able bodied and adaptive tennis players showed incredible skill and stamina, all for a very worthy cause. Each participant in the Strokes for Spokes tournament was challenged to raise a $100, all of which is contributed to the Adaptive Sports and Adventures Program (ASAP), which relies solely on philanthropic support to continue serving people of all ages living with injuries or disabilities.

img_2600For one ASAP participant, Twila Adams (shown left), Stokes for Spokes and ASAP have a special place in her life. Commenting on her experiences with ASAP and adaptive tennis she remarks, “The staff does not see our disabilities as limitations. The see us as Uniquely Able Athletes. ASAP and the Strokes [for] Spokes program have helped me exceed my own expectations.”

About the founders:

Upon moving to Charlotte, Bill and Helen Leonard were touched to learn of the inspiring achievements made by youth and adult athletes who actively participate in ASAP, a program that exists to provide competitive and recreational adaptive sport opportunities for individuals with physical disabilities in our community.

Tennis is just one of many adaptive sports offered by ASAP. Avid tennis players themselves, the Leonard family has contributed greatly to ASAP by organizing Strokes for Spokes, a round-robin style of play enjoyed by tennis players of all skill-levels, ages, and abilities.

On behalf of the Adaptive Sports and Adventures Program staff and participants, we thank the Leonards for their heartfelt contributions and leadership of the Strokes for Spokes fundraising event, without whom it would not be such a tremendous success.