Wheelcats 360, May/June 2017 1

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May/ June 2017 Volume 5, Number 3

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▪ 2017 Music City Classic Recap
▪ NWC Athlete Michelle Wilson
▪ Quick Hits
▪ Upcoming Events
2017 Music City Classic Recap
NWC Athlete Michelle Wilson
Quick Hits
Upcoming Events
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2017 Music City Classic Tennis Tournament Recap

by Mary C. Green

On Thursday, June 22, over 40 wheelchair tennis players enthusiastically arrived in Nashville for the annual Music City Classic. The tournament was held June 23-25, 2017 at the Centennial Sportsplex.

Registration along with the traditional casual reception was held at the Hampton Inn, the host hotel, from 5-8 p.m. on Thursday evening. Players along with their family members, coaches and traveling companions enjoyed socializing as they geared up for the tournament. Food and light refreshments were served thanks to faithful volunteers and organized once again by Courtney Cawthon and Joy Goin.

Prior to arrival, Tournament Director Kelly Skelton-Weise had already communicated with participants informing them of the weather forecast for the weekend. On Friday there was a 100 percent chance of rain due to a tropical storm coming from the coast. Since most players had travelled in the rain, everyone was prepared for a wet weekend.

Thanks to having four indoor courts and the cooperation of the Sportsplex staff, matches went on as scheduled Friday morning. Competition continued as rain and storms arrived and continued off and on all through the day and evening on Friday. The last match was finally concluded around midnight!

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Thankfully, the weather pattern unexpectedly turned for the better. That made it possible for matches on Saturday and Sunday to be played in unseasonably cooler, dry conditions. Athletes and others who were in attendance were thrilled and surprised how the weather was so pleasant and not terribly hot as it has been in the past.

Since matches were played almost perfectly according to schedule on Saturday, they concluded by 5 p.m. That made it possible for everyone, including those running the tournament desk and Kevin Riser the event referee, to attend the banquet.

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The annual Saturday banquet was quite the enjoyable get-together. Weather was extremely comfortable as everyone enjoyed a delicious Italian dinner under the tent outside of the tennis facility. James Harrison, nephew of wheelchair player David Harrison, once again performed music at the banquet along with a fellow musician. His talent and their enjoyable music were appreciated by the entire crowd. A raffle was held and several players won attendance prizes made up of wheelchair products as well as some gift cards for various vendors.

On Sunday the final matches were played, once again in beautiful weather. Players and attendees all said goodbye looking forward to next year's tournament. Kelly confirmed next year's event will be held on June 22-24, 2018 once again at the Sportsplex.

Many thanks are extended to the players who attended the Music City Classic as well as the sponsors. Also the volunteers who made this year's tournament such a success deserve much credit and gratitude. Special thanks to Danny Fik of Per4max and Russell Rodriguez of Max Mobility for donating to our raffle. Without all of their hard work and the contributions of the major sponsor, the National Wheelcats, there couldn't be a Music City Classic Wheelchair Tennis Tournament!

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NWC Athlete Michelle Wilson

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Michelle Wilson is the daughter of Robert and Yolanda Wilson of Sevierville, Tennessee. Michelle is an athletic wonder with skills in basketball, karate, softball, track, and tennis. Let’s say Michelle has done a lot in her short 17 years but she has endured so much more.

In December of 2014, Wilson, then just 14 years old, was given the diagnosis that would change her life. She had osteosarcoma, a form of bone cancer most prevalent in children and young adults. The diagnosis of the tumor located in Michelle’s hip area, came after months of treatment following a knee injury. After chemotherapy, it was decided that getting rid of Michelle’s cancer would take an aggressive move; amputation of her right leg.

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Two years after cancer took her right leg, Michelle Wilson returned to her happy place: the tennis courts.

Fast forward to 2017, Robert and Yolanda with daughter Michelle meet current National Wheelcat athlete, Amy Burnett at a tennis tournament in Georgia. This meeting would introduce Michelle and the Wilsons to a whole slew of wheelchair and adaptive sports offered by the National Wheelcats.

In June, Michelle competed in the Music City Classic in Nashville and this visit allowed Michelle and her family to get a real look into the NWC organization. The Wilson family meet many previous and current NWC athletes from several different sport groups and enjoyed the competition of the tournament.

Michelle aspires to attend the University of Alabama and play wheelchair tennis. She is a natural competitor and has a good support system at home with family and friends and now with the National Wheelcats.

Welcome, Michelle to our 60 year old organization and we wish you luck in achieving your goals.

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Quick Hits

▪ National Wheelcats Softball 2017 Southeastern Slugfest Champions
▪ Walton Foundation Tennis Tournament in Augusta, GA: Amy Burnett/Michelle Wilson Women's A Doubles Champions
▪ Walton Foundation Tennis Tournament in Augusta, GA: Michelle Wilson Women's A Singles Finalist
▪ Jana Hunsacker Tennis Tournament, NY : Troy Weise C Division Singles Finalist and Doubles Champion
▪ Sled Preds Coach Keith Grooms opens Break Away Hockey and Fitness an all accessible gym and off ice facility
▪ 49 players participate in the 2017 Music City Classic Tennis Tournament at Centennial Tennis Center
National Wheelcats Softball 2017 Southeastern Slugfest Champions
Walton Foundation Tennis Tournament in Augusta, GA: Amy Burnett/Michelle Wilson Women's A Doubles Champions
Walton Foundation Tennis Tournament in Augusta, GA: Michelle Wilson Women's A Singles Finalist
Jana Hunsacker Tennis Tournament, NY : Troy Weise C Division Singles Finalist and Doubles Champion
Sled Preds Coach Keith Grooms opens Break Away Hockey and Fitness an all accessible gym and off ice facility
49 players participate in the 2017 Music City Classic Tennis Tournament at Centennial Tennis Center
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Upcoming Events

Softball

July 8-9 National Wheelcat Softball Classic, Nashville , TN
July 15-16 Columbus Reds Softball Tournament, Columbus, Ohio
July 29-30 LWSRA Wheelchair Softball Tournament, Chicago, Illinois
August 5-6 Shepherd Slugfest, Atlanta, Georgia
August 23-25 Softball World Series, Arlington, Texas

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Adaptive Water Ski

July 22 9am-4pm Percy Priest Lake
August 12 9am-4pm Center Hill Lake
contact Mike Sells 615-831-3190 to register for the clinics

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Tennis

Beginners & Kids Clinic
Tuesdays 7 - 9 PM (Beginning May 2)
Centennial Sportsplex, Nashville, TN

Advanced Tennis Clinic
Mondays, 6:30 - 9:30 PM (Beginning May 1)
Old Fort Park, Murfreesboro, TN

contact David Jordan for more information 931-637-1429

National Wheelcats, Inc

7087 Russellville Rd

Guthrie, KY 42234

Visit us on the Web at www.nationalwheelcats.org


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Celebrating 60 years of providing sport activities for Individuals with physical disabilities