ABOUT IDAHO WHEELCHAIR TENNIS ASSOCIATION

Idaho Wheelchair Tennis Association

The Idaho Wheelchair Tennis Association (IWTA) boasts a 26 year history of serving Boise, Idaho.   Started in 1990 by Carol and Paula Myers, IWTA is dedicated to the promotion of tennis among disabled adults and children.  We strive to introduce competitive wheelchair tennis to local athletes, and to offer all members--with varying degrees of abilities--opportunities to participate in our community in positive ways.  To see a short video featuring several of our board members and footage from a recent wheelchair clinic, reported on KTVB Channel 7 in Boise, click on:

http://www.ktvb.com/on-tv/sevens-hero/Wheelchair-tennis-players-overcome-adversity-teach-others-166779136.html

We have our 501(c)(3) tax exempt status, and an active board of directors consisting of: Robbie Hogue, President; Kevin Faulk, Vice President and Tourney Referee; Paul Bradley, Treasurer; Steve Baxter, Program Director; Donna Bari, Sponsorship Chair; Steve Baxter, Equipment & Inventory Coordinator; Mark Sams, Web Master and Secretary. The board, along with partners in the community, conduct clinics, tournaments, and camps for the disabled Boise area community, with expansion to other Idaho communities this past year.  We estimate that in 2015, board and volunteers donated between 750 to 900 hours to IWTA operations and events. We do not have paid staff. 

In July of 2009 we sponsored a Veterans’ Wheelchair Tennis Clinic featuring 10-time U.S. Open Wheelchair Tennis Champion Randy Snow. The Veterans Clinic was cosponsored by the Northwest Chapter of Paralyzed Veterans of America.  He also conducted a clinic with youth ages 8 and up in Boise. Mr. Snow was an inspiration to us all, and it is partly because of his influence that we were motivated to develop programs targeted for military veterans and to expand our efforts to reach out to youth.  Our VETS program subsequently received support from a 2010 USTA Wheelchair Tennis grant ($2571), and from the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) Paralympic Veterans Program for another $12,000 grant.

Our 2011National Grassroots Wheelchair Tennis Grant from USTA was used to establish our COACH Project to train a core set of Wheelchair Tennis Coaches in Boise, Idaho, and provided them with two train-the-trainer workshops by world-class wheelchair tennis coaches, Rick Draney and Dave Wagner.  Overall, 72 individuals were served through the grant, and the grant was used to leverage additional funding for the development of a COACHES training manual that is available through our website, and hopefully will be featured among USTA and Veterans Administration online listings in the near future.

IWTA is proud to report that our event/clinic attendance over the past 4 years has been 1,716 individuals   including 1,404 adults and 312 children.  We hope, through continuing our COACH program, and other regular wheelchair clinics, to continue to expand our outreach to youth who have been disabled, on a statewide basis. 

Collaborators in conducting programs in the recent past include Idaho Youth Wheelchair Sports Camp; Northwest Chapter of Paralyzed Veterans of America; Boise State University Women’s and Men’s

Tennis Teams; and the City of Boise Parks & Recreation Department.  Sponsors for Fundraising events and in-kind donors include: USTA Intermountain Section; US Paralympics of the US Olympic Committee; Boise Racquet and Swim Club; Smoky Mountain Pizza;  Albertsons;  Boise State University; Mix It Up Marketing, Web and Design, among others.

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We had several athletes from Idaho that attended the clinic who were new to the sport of tennis. Our goal for the clinic was to bring a recognized wheelchair player (Randy Snow) to the Idaho area in order to build membership in our organization, fund raise for upcoming events, and introduce competitive wheelchair tennis to local athletes. 

A secondary gain was to gauge the amount of participants interested in attending a major event in Boise, Idaho, in the hope of developing a major Wheelchair tennis tournament in the near future. We feel that the Randy Snow clinic has allowed us to meet all of our objectives. The clinic had numerous secondary benefits. The event was covered on local television and has helped us with fundraising enormously. 

For the first time we were be able to send members to the Las Vegas one/up-one/down tournament with a percentage of their tournament fees covered by the IWTA! Also for the first time we had enough money to cover court fees and professional instruction during our winter league. 

The Randy Snow Clinic opened up many doors for our organization, and without the grant none of this would have been possible.
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