Wheelchair Tennis; A Whole New World
Imagine a world where you are only able to watch your family play tennis together because you are not physically able to join them. Then imagine a world where suddenly not only are you playing tennis, but you are doing so on an international level. This is the world of Wheelchair Tennis that Christopher Kelley found his way to as a freshman in high school. This is the world where your donation can make a difference.
Christopher has a disease called osteogenesis imperfecta which caused him to break his legs more than 15 times, resulting in 9 surgeries and making him dependent on forearm crutches. On occasion, Christopher tried hitting tennis with his family, but was not able to move quickly enough to return the ball. That all changed when his dad found and Christopher joined Mary Free Bed’s wheelchair tennis team in Grand Rapids.
“I love having the chance to be competitive in a sport.”
As a wheelchair tennis player, Christopher traveled extensively throughout high school to various tournaments and camps, culminating his junior year when he was one of three Juniors to compete with Team USA at The World Team Cup in Turkey. Having just graduated in April from Grand Valley State University, he has his eyes set again on international competition, hoping to make the Men’s USA Emerging Team on his way to the Paralympics.
The USTA/MTEF offers a variety of grants and scholarships each year for players who need additional training or assistance with travel, some of which are specific for wheelchair players. Most recently, Christopher was awarded the Anne Krupp Scholarship which will help him defray the costs on his path to the Paralympics. There are many more players like Christopher waiting for their lives to be enhanced through tennis. Thank you for helping us provide them with these opportunities.