Prairieville youth to participate in wheelchair tennis camp

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

The USTA has announced that 32 young wheelchair athletes will be participating in the 2013 USTA-ITF International Junior Wheelchair Tennis Camp in Mission Viejo, Calif., this week. The camp will take place at Marguerite Tennis Pavilion and is for youth ages 12-18, who live with a permanent disabling condition and use a wheelchair when playing sports including tennis.

This year's camp will include players from 10 different states and six different countries (Argentina, Canada, Chile, Guatemala, Mexico, and the United States). The camp is geared towards fun and camaraderie, while developing tennis skills in these young athletes. One of the participants will be Prairieville's own Alex Saporito.

Each day of camp consists of morning wheelchair tennis clinics and in-depth tennis instruction. Afternoon sessions include additional instruction as well as an ITF-ranking wheelchair tennis tournament.

Brad Parks, a member of the International Tennis Hall of Fame and founder of wheelchair tennis, will be speaking to the campers. Campers also will receive world-class instruction from David Wagner, a three-time Paralympic gold medalist and US Open champion as well as from Dan James, the USTA's National Head Coach and National Manager of Wheelchair Tennis, Jason Harnett, a USTA Wheelchair Tennis Assistant National Coach and other esteemed wheelchair tennis coaches. Off-court activities for campers include a trip to Universal Studios.

"We are thrilled and proud to hold this wheelchair tennis camp for these young athletes who want to develop their games," said James. "These athletes, some of whom are playing in this country for the first time, are being afforded a unique opportunity to play the sport they enjoy and forge relationships with other young people who share a similar lifestyle. We hope this camp will impact the growth of these young players for years to come."