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2008 Summer Games Competition for Special Athletes

March 20, 2008 11:31 AM

For the second year in a row, USTA Florida expanded on its partnership with the Special Olympics Miami-Dade County.  Cathy Nordlund, South Region 8 USTA Florida Community Coordinator, Susan Allshouse, USTA National Recreational Trainer, along with a team of teaching pros and volunteers from the South Dade YMCA, spent three Fridays in March helping intellectually disabled children learn to play tennis.  The Friday practices were in preparation for the 2008 Summer Games Competition which took place on Saturday, March 15 at the South Dade YMCA tennis courts. 

Every year, Special Olympics Miami-Dade County organizes a summer competition. Special Olympics is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering individuals with intellectual disabilities to become physically fit, productive and respected members of society through sports training and competition.  Mark Thompson, executive director of Special Olympics Miami-Dade County, said it has been a longtime goal to increase tennis participation in the competition. 

“Over 90 children competed in the event this year, which was an increase of 10 children from last year,” said Nordlund.  “We saw such a great improvement of their abilities in just one year, and most of that is due to Michelle Streit and her team of dedicated pros.”

Michelle Streit, director of tennis at South Dade YMCA, has worked with special needs children for the past six years.  Special needs are a big part of her heart and she has worked endlessly to bring every opportunity, including the sport of tennis, to these children.

Thanks to everyone who dedicated their time and passion for tennis to help the athletes.  For further information, contact Cathy Nordlund at 305-252-6591 or nordlund@florida.usta.com.






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