According to Buddy Up Tennis volunteer Cheryl Halpern,
Buddy Up Tennis develops brave athletes on the court with the self-worth and confidence to conquer their challenges and achieve their fullest potential off the court!
Started in 2008 in Columbus, Ohio by Founder Beth Gibson to help her 3-year-old son Will learn to play tennis, Buddy Up Tennis has evolved over the last decade into a comprehensive tennis curriculum designed to specifically address the physical, cognitive and social challenges faced by those with Down syndrome. The organization’s mission is to impact lives through tennis, fitness and fun by providing adaptive programs for individuals with Down syndrome.
The Dallas launch In March 2019 was the largest in the organization’s history and established the 22nd Buddy Up Tennis location in the country. Our Dallas program currently consists of weekly 90-minute fitness and tennis clinics held indoors at Life Time Tennis in Plano. Athletes with Down syndrome are paired with volunteer Buddies at each clinic and supervised by specially trained tennis professionals.
Fueled by enthusiasm and the support of the Down Syndrome Guild of Dallas, our program continues to grow, now boasting more than 50 registered Athletes with Down syndrome (ranging in age from 5 to 43) and more than 120 volunteer Buddies.
The local effort is driven and managed by volunteers, with 100% of donations utilized for tennis racquets, team shirts, fitness equipment, court fees, training and ongoing professional instruction. Funds raised through this first-year North Texas Giving Day campaign will be used to help offset these costs and provide scholarships to ensure that no Athlete is turned away because they are unable to pay the nominal clinic fee.
Dallas Athlete parent Kristin Walsh posted on Facebook, “The day after his first tennis session and guess who insisted we come out to practice after school before he even had a snack?!? Thanks, Buddy Up Tennis! Ryan has a new passion!” She later elaborated, “As parents, we are especially excited about all that Buddy Up Tennis offers. The focus on fitness is such an important element and Buddy Up Tennis makes it fun. Ryan is excited to be learning a new sport. And we are impressed with the high level of expectations and opportunities for the Athletes.”
To learn more about Buddy Up Tennis Inc., please visit www.buddyuptennis.com.
* Graphic/photo provided by Buddy Up Tennis
In ten years, Communities Foundation of Texas’ North Texas Giving Day has pumped more than $240 million into the North Texas community. In 2018, more than $48 million was raised through more than 157,000 gifts benefiting over 2,700 area nonprofits.