USTA Grant Press Release

PRESS RELEASE
For Immediate Release

Langhorne, PA -January 30, 2007 -The Orthotic & Prosthetic Assistance Fund, Inc. (OPAF), founders of the First Volley™ adaptive tennis clinic were honored on Sunday, January 28 at the USTA Middle States Philadelphia Awards Luncheon.

OPAF representatives were presented the United States Tennis Association Tennis & Education Foundation Grant check by USTA T & EF Executive Director, Karen Eliezer. Ms. Eliezer quoted from the OPAF grant application in her presentation, noting the number of heartfelt letters of endorsement from clinic participants for the program from across the country.

Those present from OPAF included OPAF President, Michael Burton, First Volley Director of Tennis, Darren Kindred, First Volley Instructor, Kyle Devlin and OPAF Executive Director, Robin Burton.

OPAF's First Volley™, adaptive tennis clinics for ambulatory players was founded in August 2005. First Volley™ was designed for amputees, orthosis wearers and those with physical challenges who wish to enjoy the game of tennis, but choose not to sit in a wheelchair to do so. Our population takes great pride in the fact that they are ambulatory and do not wish to be labeled as handicapped. First Volley gives them tennis skills on their level, instructed by tennis professionals with years of experience in coaching amputees and those with physical challenges. First Volley allows our ambulatory players the same consideration that wheelchair players have in that they are allowed a second bounce on their side of the net, should they need it. Our goal on the tennis court is to take the "dis" out of "disability" and leave our participants the "ability" to participate in the game. The game of tennis gives them a tremendous sense of accomplishment and pride and provides an area where they can fit in and return to an activity that may have thought lost to them. An equally important aspect of First Volley is the socialization with other clinic participants. This gives them significant encouragement by realizing they are not alone in the face of physical challenges and are surrounded by others who are also attempting new activities and enjoying life. They not only gain new friends, but are able to eliminate feelings of isolation that can accompany a debilitating accident or injury.

The Orthotic & Prosthetic Assistance Fund, Inc., (OPAF) located in Langhorne, Pennsylvania, serves as the Official Philanthropy of the U.S. orthotic and prosthetic community. Established initially to provide financial and in-kind support for the 1996 Paralympic Games in Atlanta, OPAF now generates its own initiatives and programs through partnerships with those who work towards adaptive sports programs and activities that promote the benefits that individuals with physical challenges receive from physical activities, prosthetics and orthotics.

If you would like information on how you may join with OPAF and First Volley in promoting adaptive ambulatory tennis for those with physical challenges, please contact us at 319-235-4318. Our next First Volley clinics will be Saturday, May 5, 2007 at the Arthur Ashe Youth Tennis Center in Philadelphia to benefit the Shriners Hospital for Children in Philadelphia orthotic and prosthetic patients and an OPAF sponsored clinic on May 19, 2007 at the Bucks County Racquet Club in Washington Crossing, PA.

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