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Special Olympics Tennis has some VIPs here in our Area


The Special Olympics North America Championships were held October 19-22 in Hilton Head, SC.  We have some VIPs here in our area. These athletes deserve to be celebrated and recognized for their dedication, sportsmanship and achievements.

Recently, Team Illinois travelled to the Special Olympics North America Tennis Championships in Hilton Head, South Carolina. The North America Championships are SO South Carolina’s State Games, and an open event with 10 states represented. The Van Der Meer Shipyard Tennis Center hosted the event at their beautiful 20 court facility. Team Illinois traveled with their parents and chaperones to compete, as they have for many years. The tournament ran over 3 days, and this year each athlete earned International Tennis Federation rankings as well. Homewood’s Nancy Hoekstra was on the Event Committee.

Team Illinois players were: Matt Boerema, Nick Brozek, Kevin Curran, Brent Eriks, Ryan McDonough, Justin McMillin and Elllen Sanderson. They were joined by Unified Partners Don Brozek, Jerry Kahsen, Robert Marks, Milan Miskovic, and Tom Sanderson. Players and partners are from Homewood, Mokena, Naperville, New Lenox, Oak Forest and Tinley Park. Mokena’s Cindy Heidkamp was Head of Delegation.

These athletes were tremendous representatives of the South Suburbs and Area 7. The total medal count was 8 gold, 7 silver and 4 bronze. Each athlete earned medals in Singles, Doubles and/or Unified Doubles play. Our players competed at the highest levels and were held up as positive examples for their achievements. Our own Ryan McDonough received a Sportsmanship Award!

Matt Boerema and Robert Marks have been selected to compete in the Special Olympics National Games to be held in Seattle, Washington in July 2018. Team Illinois is very proud of this!

Team Illinois is supported by Special Olympics Illinois, South Suburban Special Rec Association and the USTA Midwest Section. Team Illinois plays out of Homewood-Flossmoor Racquet and Fitness Club, and is Coached there by Cindy Heidkamp. Congratulations Team.