The Rotary Club of Shepherdstown initiated support for the Tennis on Wheels Project in mid-2019, located in Maputo, Mozambique. Phase 2 support has taken place since early 2022. Coach Stelio Carlos (“Teo”) provided the following short update. In summary, “everything is going well with the Tennis on Wheels Project while continuing to address various challenges”.
There are about 15 participants coming regularly. There are two groups, for a total of about 15 participants): Group 1 focuses on healthy physical exercise to improve their wheelchair movement skills, self-confidence, and basic tennis hitting skills. Group 2 is comprised of more advanced players and potential participants in wheelchair tennis tournaments, including participation in the upcoming First Paralympic African Games (August 2023, Accra, Ghana).
The participants are excited and actively engaged. Everything is going well, with the advanced sessions at 7 am. The other groups meet later because it has physiotherapy at the Central hospital, then they come to tennis as a complimentary rehabilitation activity.
Coach Teo has partnered with the physiotherapy section of Central Hospital of Maputo. They send participants who are undergoing physical rehabilitation.
Coach Teo is planning to organize/convene a wheelchair tennis tournament in Maputo in about April 2023. This tournament will help expand the publicity of this project and is likely to attract other participants.
All of the participants have shared sentiments of feeling healthier and happier daily, arising from their participation in the wheelchair tennis program.
To find times for the training sessions. Some of the participants started working and are not available during the week; Coach Teo is trying to work out the meeting times during weekends and evenings during the week. Coach Teo is laying the groundwork for sustainability by establishing partnerships with numerous local sponsoring organizations and businesses.