New Jersey’s Natalie Greene and Keith Ockimey were part of a 50-person group which participated recently in the Wounded Warrior Tennis Camp, based in San Diego. Greene and Ockimey took part in the camp earlier this month. The group represented all four military branches.
The camp is a part of a nationally-recognized program that uses tennis as a means of rehabilitation and community re-integration. More than 1,000 wounded, ill, and injured service members and veterans from across the country have benefited from the program since 2009.
“The positive feedback we have received from past camp participants has been overwhelming,” said Steve Kappes, Director of Military Outreach for the SDDTA. “Many participants have told us that the sport of tennis has changed their lives for the better and in some cases, has saved their lives.”
Volunteers from the San Diego tennis community run the program in collaboration with Naval Medical Center San Diego, VA Medical Center San Diego, and Balboa Tennis Club, the largest public tennis facility / CTA in San Diego.
The camp participants range in age from 35-73 and include active duty service members and veterans of both genders, and come from numerous ethnic backgrounds. The majority has served in Iraq and Afghanistan, and a few have served in prior wars and conflicts. There will be wheelchair and ambulatory players; most will be beginners.
The purpose of this camp is to expose the Warriors to tennis and set them on a pathway to continue to play with family and friends upon their return to their hometowns to aid in their physical and emotional recoveries.
For more information, visit the camp website.
For more information about USTA Adaptive Tennis, click here.