JTCC was the place to be June 14 for JTCC campers, coaches, staff, and local media who came together for Inclusion Day when JTCC was awarded a generous $50,000 grant from The Hartford for nine new top-of-the-line tennis wheelchairs, and two JTCC MedStar athletes received the surprises of their lifetime.
Two-time Paralympian, 2022 Wimbledon doubles champion wheelchair tennis player and Team Hartford athlete Dana Mathewson was in attendance to present Salma Ellabany and Madeleine-Camille Preuninger with the surprise that they have been selected to be custom fit for new tennis wheelchairs.
“Salma and MC are two very deserving athletes to receive their own tennis chair,” JTCC Head of Wheelchair & Adaptive Tennis Gabby Hesse said. “Salma plays every week in our junior program and has tremendous enthusiasm every time she steps on the court. MC has been training weekly in our adult program and helps volunteer at our junior programs. She has been a role model and mentor for young players such as Salma as they grow in the sport.”
Following the heartwarming surprise presentation, attendees participated in a clinic led by Mathewson and JTCC coaches that showcased “Tennis For Everybody” as young campers and junior and adult wheelchair tennis players shared the courts for a fun one-hour hit.
“Being one of the surprise recipients of a custom-fitted tennis wheelchair means the world to me,” Preuninger remarked. “Having my own custom tennis wheelchair is invaluable for not only improving and progressing as a tennis player, but also injury prevention, both of which will help me reach my dreams.”
JTCC promotes Tennis for Everybody, champions integrative tennis programs for people with and without disabilities to play together, and is a member of the Move United network, the national leader in community adaptive sports whose mission is to make sports accessible to everyone through their network of more than 210 organizations nationwide.