Joyce Adams is an athlete through and through. The Special Olympian plays volleyball, baseball, and swims. One of her favorite sports is tennis. Adams has been honing in her skills on the court and proved that's she a pretty fierce athlete, despite having a few challenges. “It's really tough to play tennis, to move your feet and wait for the ball to come to you. You got to move your feet,” said Adams.
She wasn’t the only Special Olympian serving ace’s Friday. 22 athletes across the city competed in the State Special Olympics Tennis Tournament. Earl Kelley is one of the tournament’s organizers. He said, it’s been a few years since the torch was lit in an opening ceremony for this sport. “This is something that's bringing tennis back to this area for Special Olympics.Years ago we had teams to play tennis across the state, but it got moved with the Troy event and it made it hard to do tennis and something else. So we're bringing it back."
Athletes participated in games of singles and doubles. They also had skills tests. “Some parents think their child can’t do tennis, because it’s a sport where you move and you swing. Sometimes it takes some time for these athletes, but after a while they can play tennis and they can play well,” continued Kelley.
He said tennis has changed these athletes for the better. “They not only learn physical things, they learn social skills and they communicate more. There are a few kids here who never talked, but now you can’t keep them quite. So they’re learning life skills, social skills, as well as athletics. "