A group came out to express our gratitude to Janice and Tom for all they have done for AAPA during their time here in Athens. We wish you all the best in your return to Nashville and will miss you both.
AAPA member Lynn BeHanna presenting a check from AAPA to Randy Haygood, Facility Supervisor at Lay Park Community Center in appreciation for all they do for the Pickleball community in Athens.
AAPA member Nelda Van Schoick presenting a check from AAPA to Trevor Ross, Program Supervisor at East Athens Community Center. We appreciate their support of our mission to support Pickleball in the local community.
In June, eight Athens Area Pickleball players had a friendly competition with the Monroe Pickleball Club. Thank you to Dee Overby from Monroe and Jerry (JT) Tolbert from Athens who organized this event, and to everyone for participating. Our ladies came home smiling!
Players pictured are: Back Row L-R: Sky Baker, Rebecca Whitney, Mary Straub; Middle Row: Jean Campbell, Sherrie Weber, Kathy Smith; Bottom Row: Lynn Behanna, Lilly Garrett.
I was born and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina. I entered the military upon completion of broadcasting school. After serving in the military for eleven years before returning home in 1994, tragedy struck. I was in a car accident, leaving me paralyzed from the neck down. Doctors told me I would never walk again nor would I ever live a productive life. That day I became a quadriplegic. I was only able to move my mouth and eyes.
The injuries from the accident were physically and mentally devastating, but it didn’t dampen my spirit. I focused on the fact that I was still alive...still here. I decided to work with what I had and I continued to have hope even with my limitations.
I did not grow up playing sports in school or in the military. But in 2002, I was introduced to wheelchair sports. That year my life changed forever in a good way. At the National Veteran Wheelchair Games (NVWG) in Cincinnati, I was able to compete alongside other Veterans with disabilities. Back then, I won medals in 9 ball, table tennis, bowling and trapshooting. As time has progressed, I have been fortunate to continue to compete and bring home gold, silver, bronze medals and money in wheelchair tennis, table tennis, boccia ball, air rifles, air pistols, javelin, shot put, discus, kayaking, triathlon, handcycling, curling, weightlifting and now pickle ball.
At the urging of a fellow Veteran wheelchair athlete, I picked up a tennis racket for the very first time in 2011. I had no concept of wheelchair tennis. But despite my lack of knowledge, I took to the court with a tennis racket taped to my hand. At first I didn’t manage to get one ball over the net. That didn’t stop me. For two years, I taped my tennis racket to my hand and traveled to the court for hours to learn to just get a tennis ball over the net. My persistence paid off. Soon, I was playing multiple times a week and I even got my own custom built tennis chair.
I heard about pickle ball through the Mecklenburg County Senior Games (MCSG). I began competing in the (MCSG) back in 2013. I signed up for my first pickle ball singles match this year.
Before playing, I was able to participate in a pickle ball clinic at Camp SOAR (Sports, Outdoor Activities and Recreation) located at Fort Yargo in Winder, Georgia (Camp SOAR is a bi-annual recreational therapy camp for disabled Veterans living with spinal cord injury/disease). With the help of Suzanne Kenrick, Recreational Therapist at Charlie Norwood Veterans Hospital, Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), Southeastern Chapter (SEPVA) Augusta,Georgia and USAPA Ambassador and United States Navy Combat Veteran Dr. J. Brinegar, from Athens Georgia, I was able to put my wheels on the court in April this year.
During the MCSG, I really enjoyed meeting USA Pickle ball Association District Ambassador Mrs. Desire Osman at my 1st match. The final score was 8-15. Although I did not win, I had tons of fun meeting and learning from seasoned player.
Off the court, I travel as a motivational speaker, Reiki therapist, licensed manicurist and teacher. Sharing a message of hope with the masses.
Finally, I am so thankful for all of the opportunities that have come my way since breaking my neck. At the time of my accident, in the back of my mind, I often said to myself “my accident happened to me.” However, on this side of my struggles to live a productive life, I realize my accident happened for me! For this, I am grateful.
Twila Rene' Adams
There is an article about local pickleball origins, health benefits, etc. on page 12 in this week's flagpole magazine. Click here to read the story.
Congratulations to Tom Senyitko for achieving LEVEL II CPTP as a Certified Pickleball Teaching Professional via IPTPA.COM, International Pickleball Teaching Professional Association. Tom is a member of the Athens Area Pickleball Association and has contacted Steve Argo, director of Leisure Services, to get contractual approval by the County to be able to offer training to our 400+ players in the Athen's area through Leisure Services. He is currently available out of county for individual training and in county for Pickleball workshops. LEVEL II CPTP is the highest level of certification for a Pickleball Trainer that is recognized internationally.
Pickleballers Roy Carroll, Bill Lee, and Kathy Smith present Clarke Middle principal, Tad Macmillion, a check for $1000 from contributions of summer players.
Thanks to the money made at the Pickled Peach Valentine Classic these past two years, the Association wanted to help a few local charities with gifts of $800 each. Pictured above from left to right is Nelda VanShoick presenting to Joan Prittie of Project safe, Roy Carroll presenting to Rory Mathisen of Mercy Health Center, and Larry King presenting to Stacey Purdue of Interfaith Hospitality Network. Once again your hard work has helped make a difference in our community.
The first annual FUNraiser Round Robin Tournament is on the calender for May 19 at Lay Park. This year’s proceeds will benefit the Dolly Parton's Imagination Library program in our area. A suggested donation is $31 which is tax deductable and will give one child an age-appropriate book each month for a year. 60 players means 60 children get book a book each month over the next 12 months.
There will be 5-6 people in each group so get your friends and sign up with you. Click here for a pdf application form to join this event and let Nelda know that you’ll be playing.
Can’t play but still want to donate? Contact Nelda VanSchoick 705-201-3313. Or mail a check made out to DPIL to Nelda at 1001 Hammond Creek Trail, Watkinsville, GA 30677.
EDIT: Photos of the event on the Gallery Page.
EDIT 2: $2551 HAS BEEN RAISED TO DATE!! CONGRATULATIONS AND THANK YOU.
“Two years ago at an annual physical, my physician asked me what I was doing differently. I told him I could only think of one thing…