Arizona Athletes with Physical and Intellectual Disabilities to Participate in On-Court Clinics on January 23
Scottsdale, Az. (Jan. 7, 2016) – Arizona Special Olympic athletes will take to the courts at Troon Country Club in the 6th annual Tennis Fun Day on Saturday, Jan. 23. Mark Pachtner, director of tennis at Troon Country Club has coordinated the event which annually attracts more than 180 participants. Prior to his tenure at Troon Country Club, Pachtner developed Fun Day events with the local chapters of Special Olympics in Georgia, Florida and California since 1999. Tennis Fun Day is also a well-established fundraiser for Special Olympics Arizona, raising nearly $14,000 from last year’s event.
“The Valley of the Sun has clearly embraced this wonderful event, especially the members at Troon Country Club,” said Pachtner. “The pure love and joy on the faces of each of our athletes as they stroke the tennis ball brings not only a tear to my eye, but ringing joy in my heart along with the hearts of all of our marvelous volunteers who are the real facilitators of Tennis Fun Day.”
During the free Tennis Fun Day of clinics and exhibitions, local tennis professionals will cover the basics of the sport of tennis and teach certain basic tennis skills for the athletes. Each athlete will receive a commemorative Fun Day T-shirt, a free Wilson tennis racquet and a gold medal for participation during the post-event awards luncheon. Athletes and volunteers will also get time away from the courts to explore a fully-equipped fire engine and police cruisers, courtesy of the City of Scottsdale, and enjoy a visit from therapy dogs from the Arizona Golden Retriever Rescue Connection. Festivities will get underway at 9:30 a.m. and finish up at 1:30 p.m. upon completion of the awards luncheon.
“Tennis Fun Day is truly a captivating event and one in which we look forward to with great anticipation and excitement each and every year. Mark Pachtner and Troon Country Club have done a marvelous job in organizing this event for the past four years and we couldn’t be more delighted with its success and charitable gift-giving,” said Tim Martin, Special Olympics Arizona president and CEO.
For more information on the 6th annual Tennis Fun Day, volunteer openings and sponsorship opportunities, please contact Mark Pachtner at (480) 358-7718.
Special Olympics Athletes
For people with intellectual disabilities, Special Olympics is often the only place where they have an opportunity to participate in their communities and develop belief in themselves. For athletes, Special Olympics sports provide a gateway to empowerment, competence, acceptance and joy. The lessons learned in Special Olympics also impact their life skills. Sports’ training enhances focus and gives participants a structure for learning important lessons about perseverance, endurance and setting goals. Many people are surprised to know, more than half of adult Special Olympics athletes in the United States are employed, versus 10 percent of intellectually disabled persons who do not participate in Special Olympics.
Special Olympics Mission
The mission of Special Olympics is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.
Mark Pachtner, USPTA, PTR
Director of Tennis
Troon Country Club