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The 5th annual Geranium Festival Wheelchair Tennis Tournament starts today in McDonough | Sports & Recreation

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The 5th annual Geranium Festival Wheelchair Tennis Tournament starts today in McDonough
The 5th annual Geranium Festival Wheelchair Tennis Tournament starts today in McDonough

McDonough, GA --  The 5th annual Geranium Festival Wheelchair Tennis Tournament is scheduled to take place at Richard Craig Park in McDonough, beginning Friday, May 6 and running through Sunday, May 8. Last year’s tournament was such an impressive event that it was named the 2010 USTA Southern Wheelchair Tournament of the Year by the United States Tennis Association (USTA) Southern Section.

The annual wheelchair tennis tournament attracts players from around the country who compete in several divisions, including Men’s Open A, B and C singles and doubles, Women’s Open, A singles and doubles and Quad Open A singles and doubles. Matches begin at noon on Friday, and continue all day Saturday and Sunday starting at 9 a.m.

Henry County’s own Henry Havoc Wheelchair Tennis Team will once again be “Servin’ it up Southern Style,” with members Harlon Matthews, Don Carnrike, Jim Dominick, Jerry Vaughan, Donna Chapman, Skip Chapman and Harold Young. The tournament is being sponsored by the Henry County Parks and Recreation Department as well as the Atlanta Lawn Tennis Association and is a USTA sanctioned wheelchair tennis tournament.

This year’s tournament will be played over a three-day period, instead of two days. In addition to competitive play, the event will also feature a Run/Roll Round Robin, on Friday evening, where wheelchair bound players are paired with able-bodied players. There will also be an open social held on Friday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. catered by The French Market.

The objective of the wheelchair tournament is to create sporting opportunities for youth and adults with physical disabilities in order to promote physical activity and healthy lifestyles. For some, the perception is that those who are relegated to a wheelchair have severely limited options. But Harlon Matthews, a Therapeutic Recreation Specialists with Henry County Parks and Recreation Department, said fans can expect to see incredible tennis.

“Wheelchair tennis tournaments are competitive events for beginners who have caught the wheelchair tennis bug, and for novice players who exhibit incredible wheelchair skills and tennis strokes,” said Matthews. “Be ready to be amazed.”