Four student-athletes who will play tennis for Notre Dame Prep when their seasons start this upcoming school year spent the day yesterday working with members of the New Gateways community in Waterford as part of the United States Tennis Association’s Adaptive Tennis Program. NDP juniors Cole Bennett, Catherine Bennett and Izabel Kruse, and freshman Alexandria Triantos connected with a number of developmentally disabled people and shared their love for the sport of tennis.
New Gateways is a not-for-profit organization in Waterford, Mich., that "builds a friendly community for adults with disabilities where they can enjoy life and learn independence."
According to Pete Riley, an NDP social studies teacher and head coach of the Irish boys and girls tennis teams, USTA reached out to him for some assistance with the organization's Adaptive Tennis Program, which was started to promote the benefits of tennis for all and to develop special techniques and resources for adaptive tennis.
"Back in May, Florie Mojica from USTA emailed me about helping them at the New Gateways facility in Waterford," Riley said. "I replied that for sure I'd be able to get players to help out. After the event yesterday, I spoke further with Florie about working at other USTA Adaptive Tennis events since our players were so eager to help out even more in the future."
Riley said there were smiles on everyone's faces yesterday.
"I think this was great, obviously, for the folks at New Gateways, but also for our kids since they got another opportunity to put into real action their Marist mission," he said. "Many of those developmentally disabled people were just so happy to hit a tennis ball or even a balloon with a racquet. Not only were the participants smiling and having a great time, so were our players and myself. Our kids also shared their love of tennis with others who may not always to get play the sport. It really was a wonderful day for everyone!"
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About Notre Dame
Notre Dame is a private, Catholic, independent, coeducational day school located in Oakland County. Notre Dame Preparatory School enrolls students in grades nine through twelve and has been named Michigan's best 50 Catholic high school three of the last four years (Niche.com). Notre Dame's lower and middle schools enroll students in pre-kindergarten through grade eight. All Notre Dame schools have been authorized by International Baccalaureate as "World Schools" and the entire institution is conducted by the Marist Fathers and Brothers. It is accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Central States and the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement. For more on Notre Dame, visit the school's home page at www.ndpma.org