Tennis Foundation Volleys Help to Vets

The U.S. Tennis Association Foundation is expanding its relationship with the Department of Veterans Affairs, pitching the game as a way to both rehabilitate vets and help them re-establish ties to the civilian world.

It’s a tag team worthy of a doubles match.

Last week, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the U.S. Tennis Association Foundation announced that they would partner on an initiative to bring tennis to VA medical facilities across the country. The goal, they said, is to help boost veterans’ health.

The USTA Foundation will offer the VA access to coaching resources, courts, community resources, and even design and consulting help in building tennis facilities of their own. VA officials welcomed the extra help.

“We are very excited to be partnering with the USTA Foundation to improve veterans’ physical fitness and ultimately their overall health and well-being,” Interim Undersecretary for Health Carolyn M. Clancy said in a statement.

It’s not the first time the USTA Foundation has provided help to veterans. Last year, the foundation hosted a series of tennis events for veterans at facilities in New York City and Philadelphia. In addition, the foundation led a series of wheelchair-tennis camps, with funding from the U.S. Olympic Committee, which runs the U.S. Paralympic Integrated Adaptive Sports Program.

The foundation also created a workbook for therapists and tennis professionals to use in assisting vets during the rehabilitation process, as they attempt to return to civilian life.

The Warrior Tennis Curriculum, released last year, is meant to improve physical health and mental well-being as well as improve connections to the local community.

It’s all part of the foundation’s long-term commitment to the issue.

“The USTA Foundation is honored to partner with the Department of Veteran Affairs in helping to enhance and improve the rehabilitation needs of our country’s veterans through tennis,” USTA Foundation Executive Director Dan Faber said in a statement. “We are committed to providing the tools needed for VA facilities around the country to incorporate tennis into their existing rehabilitation programs. Together, we are striving to provide an opportunity for our veterans to stay active and fit in tribute to their sacrifice and bravery.”

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a senior editor for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. MORE

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