Wheelchair tennis tournament at Lagoon Park on November 6 and 7
The first USTA Montgomery Wheelchair Tennis Tournament will be held November 6-7 at the Lagoon Park Tennis Center.
The event includes lots of tennis, tournament jerseys, lunches, a Saturday night party for the players, a barbecue and live music by ‘The Kept’.
“As far as I know, this is the USTA’s first major wheelchair tennis tournament in the capital,” tournament director Jessica Weyreuter said.
Wheelchair tennis players have their own professional circuit, the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour, which has more than 160 tournaments in 40 different countries in all regions of the world, Weyreuter said.
The Tour offers over $3 million in prize money and culminates in the season-ending NEC Wheelchair Masters and UNIQLO Doubles Masters. “They play all four Grand Slams plus the Paralympics,” she added.
Montgomery’s mixed format includes competitions in three divisions, as well as games for 18 and under. For more information on the tournament, visit General 1 — (dreamcourt.org).
The event is sponsored by Dream Court, founded by Weyreuter. Visit www.dreamcourt.org for more information about Dream Court.
The United States Tennis Association (USTA) offers four different categories of wheelchairs: A, B, C, and D, as well as juniors. Each division has singles and doubles. “Wheelchair players play as a team in doubles. For recreational purposes they can play with an able-bodied body paired with a wheelchair, but for tournament purposes still in a wheelchair,” Weyreuter said.
Dream Court has been providing wheelchair tennis coaching since 2014. “We have offered USTA wheelchair tennis coach training in the past, held a wheelchair tennis exhibition with the father of the Bryan Brothers during a Blue Gray tournament and hosted a day of wheelchair tennis this spring. , but this upcoming event is our first USTA wheelchair tennis tournament,” she said.
Wheelchair tennis tournaments are held across the country. There are approximately 20 wheelchair tennis tournaments per year. Dream Court plans to make the Montgomery event an annual gathering.
“We’re looking forward to a strong inaugural year and continuing to grow from there,” Weyreuter said. “Participants can expect to play singles and doubles matches, main draw and consolation. They will receive free coffee and lunches for Saturday and Sunday, as well as our epic players party with BBQ by Druids and Mojo Hand, plus live music by “The Kept.” We’re also preparing a surprise bag and tournament jersey.
Spectators can expect to have fun cheering on their favorites on the tennis court. “Right now we have players from five different states, so we’re encouraging the local community to come out and enjoy the fun weekend,” Weyreuter said. “Through these types of events, we actively seek to move the narrative from disabled to enabled and highlight how involvement in sport pushes people further and brings us all together. I hope new visitors to this tournament will also be introduced to Montgomery and its citizens. We invite the Montgomery community to consider signing up as volunteers to play ball or help with hospitality.
Volunteer shifts are 8 a.m. to noon, noon to 4 p.m., and 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. To volunteer, visit General 1 — (dreamcourt.org).
Tournament sponsors include Vance Law Firm, Health Star Clinic, Dr. and Mrs. Mike Bridger, Dr. Charlie Masters and Susu and Temple Millsap.