Ground was broken Thursday at Edward Thompson Park on courts that will soon provide people with physical disabilities an opportunity to receive tennis lessons.
The groundbreaking was for two “dream courts” – courts that will allow individuals with intellectual and physical disabilities to participate in tennis. It is the result of Dream Court, a nonprofit organization that offers an adaptive tennis program specifically designed so that those with physical or mental challenges to take part in the sport of tennis.
Jessica Weyreuter, a former professional tennis player, and who moved to Montgomery in 2010 to work on her master’s in international relations at Auburn Montgomery, has spearheaded both Dream Court and the project. Weyreuter personally raised $200,000 from businesses and individuals. The land was donated to the nonprofit by the city of Montgomery. Construction is expected to take about four months, depending on the weather.
The tennis courts will be maintained by the city of Montgomery, but will be used by Dream Court.
“When I saw the Miracle League (baseball field) for the first time, I fell in love with that idea and thought we could do something similar,” said Weyreuter, who was born in Germany and raised in Argentina. “Then a friend of mine had a ski accident and is now a paraplegic. And I wanted to do something for people with disabilities.”
The location of the courts complement what the city already is involved in, said Scott Miller, director of leisure services for the city of Montgomery. “This provides an active recreation area to our mentally and physically challenged in the area,” he said. “There’s a lot of kids in Montgomery who can use this. It completments what we do in the leisure services in the therapeutic recreation center.”
About Jessica Weyreuter
Jessica came to the United States with a full tennis scholarship at Lindsey Wilson College in Columbia, Ky. While there, she was named a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletic Women’s finalist, Mid-South conference Academic All Conference, and All American recipient, selected by Intercollegiate Tennis Coaches Association.
This article was written by Kym Klass for the Montgomery Advertiser December 13, 2013.
The Edward Thompson Park is located on Ray Thorington Road, just past New Park.