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Triad Woman makes tennis more accessible to everyone

Triad Woman makes tennis more accessible to everyone
Triad Woman makes tennis more accessible to everyone

 


HIGH POINT, NC (WGHP) When Susan Brodeur isn't in the middle of her own match, she likes to stand on the side of the tennis court and cheer on other players.

That's probably the main thing I love. You just see them come out. They are excited to see each other. I'm excited to see them. “I love seeing the joy that tennis gives them,” she said.

Although Brodeur watched her three daughters play tennis in high school, she didn't start playing until she was about 40 years old.

Some things in life were changing and some friends were going to take a tennis clinic for beginners, so I did it because I needed something different in my life, she said.

Friends encouraged Brodeur to partner with the Guilford Regional Tennis Association (GRETA) when a job became available.

Brodeur has been with GRETA for nine years and is the association's executive director.

GRETA's mission is to introduce and grow the sport while making it accessible to people of all ages and abilities. This outreach includes offering free adaptive tennis clinics.

Adaptive tennis, especially in standing form, is very new. It is para-standing. Wheelchair has had its place in USTA for some time, Brodeur said.

Para-standing is a growing sport, so we offer an annual tournament in the fall called CAST, Carolinas Adaptive Standing, and we've brought players from all over the country, from Chile to Japan. They come to play, and like wheelchair players, they have had an injury, or something has happened that prevents them from being able to play like an able-bodied person, but they don't have to be in a wheelchair.

Lauren Rouse says Brodeur encouraged her to give it a try.

“I have cerebral palsy and always wanted to play, so I thought I would join in,” Rouse said.

Rouse enjoyed it so much that she drove an hour and 10 minutes from Chapel Hill to High Point to participate.

By attending the clinics, Patti Pogodzinski has also regained part of herself.

Before her spinal cord injury, she was a competitive swimmer.

This is the first competitive sport she has participated in since then.

It really boosts your confidence, so don't be afraid to try it out, even if you're not very good the first time. I recommend it to everyone. It's unbelievable. It's been a life-changing thing for me, Pogodzinski said.

Every time I walk away from a program we've put in place, it's just very rewarding, Brodeur said.

GRETA's adaptive tennis clinics for adults are held at the Deep River Recreation Center Courts (1525 Skeet Club Road, High Point) on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month and the 2nd Saturday of the month.

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Each clinic will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m

For more information about this program and other programs offered by GRETA, visit his website.

Brodeur is also the Piedmont coordinator for the United States Tennis Association (USTA) League.

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