Adaptive Athletics at the University of Houston is hosting the second annual Cougar Open Wheelchair Tennis Tournament, presented by the One Step Closer Foundation, this weekend.
The 2017 Cougar Open, nationally sanctioned by the U.S. Tennis Association, will be held Friday through Sunday, Oct. 6-8, at the Memorial Park Tennis Center, 1500 Memorial Loop in Houston. It is the largest wheelchair tennis tournament in Texas, drawing players from around the nation.
“This event will showcase high-level wheelchair tennis, along with divisions for developmental tennis,” said Michael Cottingham, director of Adaptive Athletics at UH and assistant professor in the Department of Health and Human Performance. “It’s part of a coordinated effort with the United States Tennis Association to grow and develop wheelchair tennis in the metro Houston area and across Texas.”
Adaptive Athletics at UH is a student-run organization that provides sport programming for athletes with disabilities. It also offers research opportunities and education programs to train the future workforce.
Made popular by Brad Parks in 1976, wheelchair tennis allows players with a variety of mobility issues to play. Most players have had a spinal cord injury, including those with quadriplegia. The court, balls and rackets are the same as those used by able-bodied players. The only difference in the rules is that the ball is allowed to bounce twice.
“This event promises to be a celebration of unity, sportsmanship and the competitive spirit. UH faculty and students, along with community donors and volunteers, have come together to make the tournament a success," said Samantha Kwan, director of tennis for Adaptive Athletics at UH and associate professor in the Department of Sociology.
What: 2017 Cougar Open Wheelchair Tennis Tournament, presented by the One Step Closer Foundation
Who: Adaptive Athletics at the University of Houston
When: Friday-Sunday, Oct. 6 – 8, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Where: Memorial Park Tennis Center
1500 Memorial Loop
Houston, TX 77007