The USTA/Midwest Tennis & Education Foundation is excited to announce its 2018 Anne Krupp Memorial Scholarship recipients. The $2,500 scholarship is presented to one or more USTA/Midwest Section tennis players who need additional training or assistance with travel to participate in Adaptive Tennis, Special Olympics or Wheelchair Tennis programs. Congratulations to this year’s four recipients: Bryan Wilkinson from Brighton, Mich., Christopher Kelley from Grand Haven, Mich., Matthew Boerema from Homewood, Ill., and Payten Presley from Bloomington, Ill.
Wilkinson started playing wheelchair tennis in 2005 with the Grand Rapids Wheelchair Sports Association, and has since become a strong competitor and advocate for the sport. He is working to bring the sport to others in both the Ann Arbor and Detroit area, and recently founded the Got Ability Sports Organization which provides adaptive sports and recreation opportunities. Wilkinson will use the $500 scholarship to attend an upcoming trainer workshop and Wheelchair Tennis Camp later this year in Lafayette, Ind.
Wilkinson played tennis for two years while attending Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Mich. He is current a volunteer with the USTA/Midwest Section and serves on the Junior Diversity Committee. Wilkinson received the 2016 USTA/Midwest Section Wheelchair Performance Award which recognizes a volunteer, wheelchair tennis player, tennis professional or coach who has made outstanding contributions and has demonstrated excellence in the sport of wheelchair tennis.
Kelley started playing wheelchair tennis when he was ten years old, and has since become a strong competitor (recently moving from Men’s A Division to Men’s Open Division) and advocate for the sport. Kelley is a senior at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Mich., and following graduation next month wants to find a profession which combines tennis and social work. Kelley will use the $1,000 scholarship to participate in several tournaments this year which include the USTA National Collegiate Wheelchair Championships held last month is April, the USTA/Midwest Section Wheelchair Championships in July, and the PTR Wheelchair Championships in September.
Kelley has been coaching local middle school and high school able bodied tennis players, and is passionate about growing the visibility of wheelchair tennis in an able-bodied community. He volunteers to give back of his time to various tennis events. As a high school tennis player, Kelley was selected to compete on the Team USA Junior Wheelchair team.
Boerema started playing tennis approximately 25 years ago, and competes in several advanced level tournaments each year. He participates each year in the Special Olympics Illinois State tournament. Boerema will use the $500 scholarship to offset costs with court time and travel in preparation for his participation in the 2018 Special Olympics National Games from July 1-6 in Seattle, Wash.
Boerema has given back to the lifetime sport of tennis by volunteering at some tennis disability events as well as speaking at tennis fundraisers. In addition to participating in the Special Olympics National Games this summer, Boerema plans to participate in the 2018 Special Olympics North American Championships later this year in Hilton Head, SC.
Presley played tennis as a junior player and returned to the sport again five years ago as an adult player. He participates in several local and state tournaments each year. He participates each year in the Special Olympics Illinois State tournament. Presley will use the $500 scholarship to offset costs for coaching this year as he prepares to participate for upcoming Special Olympics tournaments.
Presley participates in the Tennis Buddies program at Evergreen Racquet Club in Bloomington, Ill. This program received a $3,000 grant from the USTA/Midwest Tennis & Education Foundation in 2017 to help defray costs for court time, teaching professionals, adaptive equipment, and tshirts for the participants.
The $2,500 annual scholarship was established in memory of long-time USTA/Midwest Section volunteer Anne Krupp. In addition to demonstrating need for assistance with meeting their tennis goals, recipients must display excellent sportsmanship and exhibit the true spirit of Anne. She was a passionate tennis fan and advocate, working as a teaching professional who put much of her energy into working with Special Olympics, Adaptive Tennis and Wheelchair Tennis programs.