My child with special needs has never played tennis! Can he/she participate?
Yes. While there are some eligibility requirements, the primary qualification for an athlete is age (minimum age 6) and disability (intellectual disability). Skill level and equipment are not requirements to become a Special Pops tennis player or volunteer.
Are there any fees to participate?
No. All training and equipment (racquets, balls and nets) are provided free of charge. Many area tennis players generously donate previously-owned racquets for distribution at no charge to our athletes. Fees may be incurred for participation at the tournament level.
My child with special needs is in a wheelchair and non-communicative. Can he/she participate?
Yes. If the age and disability requirements are met, then the physical disability is not an issue. A “court-friendly” wheelchair is recommended to enable movement during the training session.
I can only volunteer at certain times of the year. How can I let you know when I am available?
The best method is to register on the website as a volunteer. Then review our Tennis Programs, Locations, and Calendar to determine the best place and time of year for you to volunteer. Periodically we e-mail our registered volunteers regarding upcoming volunteer opportunities.
I am not a tennis player and never played the game. Can you still use me as a volunteer?
Yes. We have tasks at all our tennis events that require off-court assistance. We encourage all persons interested in getting involved to come out and join us. At times we have committee activities that occur behind the scenes to make the experience more meaningful. So check us out! There is a place for you!
Is there a minimum age to be a volunteer?
Yes. For the safety of our athletes and volunteers we require that any person under the age of 10 be accompanied by an adult when performing volunteer tasks. This is especially true for on-court activities where the performance and knowledge of the volunteer can impact the athlete’s overall tennis experience. See our Volunteer page for more information.
I would like to start a tennis program at my tennis center. How can I make that happen?
Contact Us and let us know the type of program you are interested in starting at your tennis center. A Special Pops representative will contact you to discuss your interest in expanding the opportunities in your community.
My tennis team would like to get involved at one of your existing sites. What do we need to do?
Please Contact Us indicating the type of involvement you seek. A Special Pops representative will contact you to discuss opportunities for your tennis team to get involved.
If I register on your website, will you make my information available to any other sources?
No. We respect your willingness to provide Special Pops with your contact information. The Board of Directors is committed to treating your information with complete confidentiality.
I have a community group that I would like to inform of your programs. Do you have information that I could give to them?
Yes. Informational materials explaining our programs are available free of charge to your organization. If you would like a Special Pops representative to attend your meeting, just let us know when and where. We always appreciate the opportunity to tell our story!
How do I become a certified Special Olympics Tennis Coach?
To become a certified coach you must first attend a Coach’s Clinic. Go to our Calendar for dates.
Does my child have to compete in tournaments to participate in your training?
No. Participation by an athlete beyond the training is strictly optional. Athletes participate in our training for various reasons. Some participate just to learn the sport while others want to be with their friends. All children and adults with intellectual disabilities are welcome to come and join in the fun!