Tennis Hosts Special Olympics Event on Sunday

March 25, 2012
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

March 25, 2012

NORFOLK, Va. - Following the Old Dominion University tennis doubleheader on Sunday, both the men's and women's squads hosted the Area Two Special Olympics team for a practice session in the Folkes-Stevens Indoor Tennis Center.

USTA President of Virginia Tennis Wayne McCoy attended the event and spoke about what it means to all involved.

"This is one of those events where everyone is playing tennis and just having a good time. If you were to close your eyes all you would hear is the joy and laughter coming from everyone," McCoy said. "It is good for the Old Dominion players to spend time with the special Olympians and its also good for the special Olympians to spend time with real tennis players."

The event featured 35 special Olympians who received instruction from the Old Dominion student-athletes and coaching staffs.

After Alfredo Rodriguez finished off the men's teams 7-0 win over Delaware, the event began in full force as everyone was split into four groups as the student-athletes led the special Olympians in a variety of activities.

"This is such an honor to perform an event like this, to help out in the community it is important to participate in events like this," ODU sophomore Nika Khmolovska said. "Everyone enjoyed the day, it was great to see everyone so happy. Tennis is such a great sport that it can get people to come together and have a great time."

The special Olympics competitors are mainly out of Virginia Beach but McCoy mentioned there was hopefully coming to Norfolk soon. Both the special Olympians and Old Dominion enjoyed the event and hope it continues.

"It was a privilege for the team to come out and interact with the athletes," ODU women's tennis head coach Dominic Manilla said. "Our student-athletes had just as good of a time as the special Olympians did. This event was a great way to finish off the week with such a positive experience."