A new program centered around autism is launching at U-Turn Sports Performance Academy this month. ACEing Autism is partnering with Commonwealth Autism to reach families throughout the area.
ACEing Autism is a national nonprofit that brings recreational tennis programs to children on the autism spectrum. The specially designed tennis clinic will be offered every Sunday, January 28th through March 4th. Court time is scheduled from 3-4:00pm for children of all ages.
Specialized instruction is provided by Donald Widener, ACEing Autism Program Director (Virginia), a MNTC resident professional (certified by U.S. Tennis Association Player Development, U.S. Professional Tennis Association and Professional Tennis Registry) and a team of dedicated volunteers.
“The U-Turn Sports Performance Academy is a unique community asset, and we are thrilled to be able to offer this program to Richmond families with children on the autism spectrum,” Widener said. “Tennis can be a lifelong activity and we hope to introduce this sport to children who need a more personalized approach. Our goal is to teach them skills that will serve them both on and off the court.”
The clinic benefits children on the autism spectrum and their peers in various ways. Each 50-minute session will include a warm up, running and jumping exercises, basic hand-eye coordination skills, groundstrokes, volleys, an obstacle course and group game. Each student will be paired with one to two volunteers based on his/her needs.
Each program is flexible and can be modified based on each child’s skill level and favorite activities. The primary focus on court is to emphasize social skills, self-confidence, improved motor skills and physical fitness.
The cost for the eight-week program is $100, and registration is open. Additional information is available on the ACEing Autism Richmond website or by calling 804.644.2357.
U-Turn Sports Performance Academy is located in at 2101 Maywill Street in western Henrico County.