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Children’s Tennis Program in Miami-Dade

May 1, 2006 10:08 AM

Photos courtesy: Cathy Nordlund

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April 19 marked the beginning of a six-week program for children with disabilities from the Leisure Services Division of the Miami-Dade County Park and Recreation department.  Camp Matecumbe and Coral Estates Parks in Miami will host the specialized children’s tennis program.

USTA Florida Community Coordinator Cathy Nordlund, Regional Director Rick Pardon and County Representative Linda Karen coordinated instuction for children from three sites, and park and recreation staff will continue the tennis instuction into this summer and 2007 schools programs after the completion of the six-weeks.

Nordlund is encouraged by the dedication of the Miami-Dade Park and Recreation department.

“I had a recreational coach workshop (RCW) on Saturday, April 22, at Crandon Park Tennis Center,” Nordlund said.  “13 of their staff attended to learn more about how to teach tennis!”

One mother who was watching her child at the April 19 session said he learned more in that one hour then he had all year in school.  She couldn’t believe how well he did!

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Nordlund enjoyed working with the children.

“It was great watching the excitement of the children as they learned a new skill,” Nordlund said.  “This program not only teaches them the lifetime sport of tennis, but also improves their self-esteem, ability to focus, direction-following and peer interaction.”

The park and recreation department also has a tennis program for adults with disabilities who use wheelchairs.  The program takes place at the Big 5 Tennis Center on Saturdays from 9-11am.

The Leisure Access Services Division of the Miami-Dade County Park and Recreation Department provides year-round recreational programming for children and adults with disabilities in Miami-Dade County.  The Department provides afterschool and summer programs serving children with moderate disabilities who can benefit from a specialized program.  Disabilities may be developmental or physical or both.

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