Recent update on the WWTP Program:
Co-Founder, Steve Kappes, recently returned from a trip to the US Open as he serves on the USTA Adaptive Tennis Commitee. The following is a recap and overview about how the USTA is expanding their reach into the military community by holding weekly veterans clinics, similar to what Wounded Warriors Tennis Program in San Diego does.
Steve Kappes trip summary:
I just returned from New York City where I attended the USTA Semi-Annual Meeting and Conference. I serve on the national Adaptive Tennis Committee throughout the year, and much of my time in NY was spent working with my committee members to advance tennis programming that improves the lives of people of all ages in all disability groups across the country (Autism, Down syndrome, Special Olympics, and many other cognitive/developmental/physical impairments, etc).
Of course, I’m always networking with the hundreds of other national volunteers and USTA staff members to promote military outreach and tennis programs for disabled service members and veterans, and it’s paying off. In addition to increasing awareness of what we are doing in San Diego and making contacts for future funding and support, I was happy to learn that the USTA’s weekly veterans tennis clinics at the National Campus in Orlando are going strong (similar to our weekly program but without lunches), and the USTA staff held their 7th Military Appreciation Day at the US Open on Monday. NBC Nightly News ran a segment on Monday that combines footage from the USTA’s veterans program in Orlando with footage from the veterans clinic the USTA ran at the US Open. If we had we sent a few of our veterans to the US Open, they would have been included in the events of the day:
Here’s the link to the NBC segment — you have to scroll down to Full Broadcasts, select “Nightly News Full Broadcast September 3rd” on the right, then advance the video to the 18:15 mark:
Here’s a related video the USTA produced:
Here’s a link to an article that describes other things that were planned for and happened that day:
And here are other military appreciation photos from throughout the day:
I had to be in a morning meeting in Manhattan when the all veterans’ on-court activity was going on, but I did get to the US Open later in the day, and I met all the Warriors including (surprise!) a few I knew from our own San Diego Annual Camp.
While I was there, I also met Bill Hannigan, who is the #2 guy for Adaptive Programs at the Wounded Warrior Project HQ in Florida. The USTA national staff is establishing a partnership with WWP at the national level to grow more tennis programs for WWP-affiliated veterans (called “alumni”) across the country. Bill and his boss will be in San Diego for the VA’s Summer Sports Clinic in a few weeks, and I invited them to visit our Warrior clinic on Tues Sep 18th to meet us and check it out if their schedule permits.