MRC’s Tennis for Fun team excels at Special Olympics

Wed, 11/09/2022 - 2:00pm

ROCKPORT — Midcoast Recreation Center’s Tennis for Fun Team participated in the Special Olympics at Bates College in Lewiston on October 12. The MRC Tennis for Fun athletes competed in several divisions: Skills, Orange Ball Singles, and Red Ball Doubles.

In the Skills Competition, participants demonstrated various skills including serves, volleys, groundstrokes, etc. Lillian Kunn won the gold medal; Katie Kunn won the bronze medal; Samantha Herring and Jeremy White placed fourth overall; and Kathryn Kuhn placed fifth.

In the orange ball singles division, Ronnie Vanasse won the silver medal after a very close match in the finals; Shane Roberts came in fourth; Glen Smith placed fifth, and Scott Achorn placed seventh.

In the red Ball doubles division, Michael Kunn and Ada Rackliff won the silver medal. All of the athletes showed determination, endurance and skill and have improved significantly this year.

Originally, the competition was supposed to be held Tuesday, October 11, but was postponed due to the weather. Several athletes could not participate on the rain-date due to work schedules: Melvin Achorn, Caroline Duda, Dennis Phillips, Donald Jenkins, Travis Paine, Myles Frederick, Leesa Carpenter, Scott Bass and Kurt Leidenroth.

“Everyone was disappointed they couldn’t join since they are an important part of the team,” the MRC said in a news release. 

Tennis for Fun is a volunteer-run program held Monday afternoons at Midcoast Recreation Center. For 21 years, athletes with cognitive disabilities have been learning to play tennis through Tennis for Fun. The program was founded by Nathan and Judy Moore, and serves approximately 30 athletes each week at MRC. Tennis for Fun also has teams in Belfast, Florida and Pennsylvania.

MRC donates court time and coaches, and local community members donate their time and equipment as well. The MRC coaches are Candy Smiley, Lana Arau, Sarah Glenn, Judy Moore, Kristen King, Sarah Effird and Cricket Stewart. The program is free and open to anyone who qualifies for special Olympics. The group meets each Monday from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30pm at Midcoast Recreation Center. If you would like more information, contact Judy Moore at 813-417-3751.