My daughter began playing tennis with Special Pops when it first opened it's doors. I also began volunteering at that time. My experience as parent, partner, umpire, coach, site coordinator and SPUD captain has be extremely rewarding. The wonderful people running this program work tirelessly to make a life-changing environment for our athletes. My daughter's experiences have been unparalleled. The opportunities she has gotten to make friends and travel and participate with a variety of people have enriched her life. Congratulations, Special Pops, on being such a top-rate organization. And thank you so much for all your hard work!
Special Pops Tennis-Savannah is tennis-PLUS! I coach and also play as a partner with my son, Nick. It not only provides a great tennis experience but it also is a wonderful social outlet for making new friends. Over the course of a season, it is easy to see self-esteem increasing in our athletes along with their tennis skills. It is a fabulous experience for athletes and volunteers.
When I learned about Special Pops Tennis I was so impressed with the outreach of the organization to offer adaptive tennis programs that I wanted to help grow their awareness! As an Atlanta Business Chronicle Account Executive that works with nonprofits, I met Jim Hamm, the Founder and Executive Director to work on a marketing plan to the readers of the Chronicle. The organization is so fantastic that I continue to talk about it in my community and to those that I meet who I think that can benefit. I'm often surprised how many people who have not heard of Special Population Tennis (even those that serve the same community) that I urge those reading this to continue to spread the word!! This organization directly improves the lives of those it serves!
Since becoming a coach with Special Pops in Savannah, I have a heightened awareness of the joy and sense of belonging that this program brings to the participants. It is inspirational to see athletes of various ages and abilities rally around each other as they learn the sport of tennis. Their bubbling enthusiasm is contagious. The word quit has no place in their world. Programs like Special Pops lifts everyone up, athletes and coaches alike. This program teaches us all how to be better human beings. Chuck K.
My daughter, Kelly, has been a part of Special Pops for many years now. In September of 2011 she became ill and was not able to participate in tennis for a while. Just this past October we found out all is well. Kelly wanted to participate and be a part of the Fall Tournament even though she had not picked up a racquet in a long time. Of course, Special Pops told her to come and participate in play, volunteer or just be there for support of her fellow players. Kelly decided to play Unified doubles with Ellen Bierbaum, who was one of the many wonderful and caring volunteers of Special Pops. Kelly played against Demi and Laura that weekend and their concern for Kelly was evident in their kind words and gestures. Kelly did not win her matches that weekend and she broke down crying but she said not because she lost but because her joints were hurting her. I also think it was a year's worth of built up feelings and worry. I could not have asked for a better place for Kelly to come to terms with her feelings. Special Pops is more than just tennis. It is also a great lesson in sharing and caring for others whether it be athlete, volunteer, organizer, parent or friend. Thank you so very much for what you give our children. Denise Kettles, Proud mother of Kelly Kettles.
Special Pops is - in a word - special. What they do is bring together the special needs community and the mainstream population under the banner of tennis and comraderie. As a volunteer I have found the most important take away for me has been the strong friendships that I have made with many of the athletes that I have worked with. I have been blessed many times over for being a part ofSpecial Pops.
I have been volunteering for several years at Emory and at the fall classic, and I enjoy it more every year. The athletes are wonderful, and it is such a pleasure to be able to partner with them as a unified doubles coach. So much fun. I look forward to both of these events every year. You get to know the athletes on a personal level at these events, and it is always inspiring to me. They help me as much as I help them as I see excellent sportsmanship demonstrated, and friendships renewed. I love tennis and these events enable me to see the joy it brings to the athletes and to myself as we play this great game together.
Special Pops Tennis has been a life changer for not only all the athletes involved, but for all the volunteers that participate (me included).
Special Pops Tennis, begun by a woman with a passion for tennis and a heart for the disabled, has set afire the hearts of tennis lovers across the State of Georgia. My son is only one of the 600 disabled participants in Special Pops Tennis programs staffed by these skilled, dedicated volunteers. Over the last three years I have watched him learn to play a game he hardly knew; grow to love that game as his skills became stronger, and grow personally in ways that these amazing people have made possible. Special Pops takes a profound personal interest in every athlete. They are dedicated to creating a positive, enriching experience for every participant: athletes, volunteers, and families. My son and I are truly blessed to have become a part of the Special Pops family.
I have had the opportunity to volunteer with Special Pops over the last couple of years, as a umpire at the past two Special Olympics (held at Emory University) and at the last two Special Pops Fall Classics. This fall, I assisted with the Special Pops skills challenge and attended their annual fundraiser for the first time, and I've also worked as a coach leading up to the Special Olympics events. I highly recommend this organization and its activities to anyone who desires to combine their passions for tennis and service. It is both fun and rewarding to work with the athletes, and the Special Pops organization is comprised of the nicest people. The events are always well organized.