In the midst of Autism Awareness Month, members of the South Side High School boys’ varsity tennis team ran a free clinic for children with special needs last Saturday at Jennie E. Hewitt Elementary School.
Junior Philip Frank, a member of the team, was inspired to start the event for his cousin Will Ryan, who has autism. He noted the opportunities for those with special needs locally, such as Challenger Baseball and Hoops For All, and wanted to add one to the list.
“All around Rockville Centre they have the baseball and they have the basketball, so I just wanted to make it different this time and try out tennis,” he said.
Philip, along with Justin Seplowe and some of his other varsity teammates taught the seven children who signed up the basic skills of tennis before finishing off the clinic with games and prizes.
“They were very happy,” Philip said. “A lot of laughs and a lot of smiles on their faces.”
He said he plans to do it again next year.
“It was awesome.” Philip’s mother, Delia, said. “All the boys really had a good time interacting with them and helping them. It was just really nice.”