November features a holiday near and dear to the heart of many staff and participants at the USTA National Campus as Veterans Day will be celebrated across the country on Nov. 11, honoring those who have served our country.
One of the most impactful programs at the USTA National Campus has been the free weekly tennis clinic for veterans and active-duty military members. The program was started in 2017 a few months after the campus first opened its doors, and a relationship was built with the VA Medical Center in Lake Nona to offer tennis as a form of recovery and an opportunity to bond for the veterans in the Orlando community.
The program has grown since its inception, and the weekly clinics, held each Monday night, have impacted a number of local veterans.
Over the past three years, some of the veterans from the program have traveled to New York to participate in the US Open’s Military Appreciation Day, held each year on Labor Day. They are treated to a VIP experience, which includes the opportunity to participate in a clinic in iconic Arthur Ashe Stadium prior to the start of play for the day.
The USTA National Campus has expanded its military programming, always looking for ways to impact the greatest number of people through the sport of tennis. Last month, the campus hosted the Wounded Warrior Project, during which warriors from around the country, as well as their families, were introduced to tennis for the first time.
The group spent two days at the campus participating in various tennis-related activities. It was the first time the Wounded Warrior Project hosted a camp that included the warriors’ families, allowing family members to personally experience the power adaptive sports brings to their warriors.
November also features one of the biggest events of the year at the USTA National Campus, as the world’s best wheelchair tennis players will compete at the prestigious NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters and the UNIQLO Wheelchair Doubles Masters. This is the first time that both year-end wheelchair tennis events will be held in Lake Nona after the campus hosted the singles event for the first time in 2018.
The NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters features the top eight men and women along with the top six quads for the ITF year-end wheelchair singles championship, while the UNIQLO Wheelchair Doubles Masters features the top eight men’s pairings, top six women’s pairings, and top four quad pairings for the ITF year-end wheelchair doubles championship.
The event will be held Nov. 19-26 and is free and open to the public.