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2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Special Populations Tennis Program Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Special Olympics, Sports

Mission: Enriching the lives of people with intellectual disabilities through the lifetime sport of tennis. "The game we teach is tennis, but the lessons learned are real life."

Results: Host of largest adaptive tennis match play event in the USA for 7 years First USTA-sanctioned adaptive tennis unified doubles league for people with intellectual disabilities in the USA From 60 special athletes at 3 sites in 2005, we served 600 special athletes at 15 sites in metro Atlanta in 2012

Programs: Free training and equipment; USTA-sanctioned league play; competitive match play at all levels; nutrition education; social interaction

Community Stories

3 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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!

Denise K.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Our daughter has just finished her first fall tennis sessions. She absolutely enjoyed this experience. Her comments were that she felt accepted and the instructors were really nice and fun. Thank you for offering this great opportunity to her. She has found a group that has encouraged her to feel great about excercise and about her abilities!