Savannah Slam gives tennis players in wheelchairs the chance to play

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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV)- It’s a one of kind tennis tournament, specifically designed for players bound to a wheelchair.

Not even the rain could stop players at Bacon Park from participating in the inaugural Savannah Slam.

Each player here has one thing in common; passion for a little friendly competition.

Thanks to US Air Force veteran Mark Schreiber, that passion now has a home in Savannah.

“it’s hard not to have a passion for this because I’m in a wheelchair so it’s automatic,” said Schreiber. “I have a competitive spirit, I’ve always played sports and I always want to play sports,” he explained, “I think sports are just good for the development of people and I think it’s just good for relationships.”

With the help of community partners like Living Independence for Everyone, Schreiber hopes the event will open up new avenues for disabled people.

“Life provides services like transportation issues, but never any type of sports programs so we had a strategic plan, our long term goal is to have more recreation,” said Stu Kluger, Board President of Life.

Many of the players who hit the courts today— bond over more than tennis.

“Especially seeing so many veterans like at this tournament, six of them,” said Alan Washington who traveled from Augusta to play. “Some places you don’t have no veterans, but just the comradery to be with and around some of the veterans.”

Friendship at this tournament is a given said Schreiber, but representation is the goal.

“They may know somebody who’s in a wheelchair and say hey I saw a guy playing basketball or I saw a girl playing wheelchair tennis why don’t you try that,” said Schreiber.”Why don’t you try something else and you know that’s really the bigger goal of this tournament.”

All players in the tournament are registered with the national tennis association. If you’d like to see them in action they start back up tomorrow in the same spot at 8 a.m.

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