Sportable River City Slam Starts Friday

RICHMOND, VA – (Monday, June 7, 2021) – Sportable, Central Virginia’s premier adaptive sports club, will host the River City Slam Wheelchair Tennis Tournament, presented by The Abstract Athlete, this Friday, June 11 through Sunday, June 12. Spectators are invited to attend free of charge to watch some of the top wheelchair tennis players from Richmond and across the country compete at Collegiate School’s Robins Campus.

“The River City Slam, presented by The Abstract Athlete, is promising to be a phenomenal event with some of the best players in the country attending from coast to coast,” commented Hunter Leemon, Sportable Executive Director. “We are thrilled to return to competition after more than 18 months by hosting one of the most prestigious events in Sportable history. The River City Slam brings a spotlight to adaptive sports in RVA and I encourage everyone to stop by Collegiate this weekend to see our mission in motion.”

Nearly 50 players will take to the state-of-the-art courts at the Williams Bollettieri Tennis Center at Collegiate School’s Robins Campus. Eight local players, including Division B players Bruce Patton (Manakin Sabot) and Zach Zomermaand (Henrico), will compete against players from 19 states from California to Virginia.

The River City Slam will also kick off the newly launched USTA Junior Wheelchair Tennis Tournament Series, a group of nationally-ranked tournaments focused on providing level-based play opportunities for junior wheelchair players. A dozen juniors players from across the country are slated to appear in Richmond this weekend, including Richmond’s Hannah Smith, Oregon’s Emmy Pfankuch and Maylee Phelps, and one of top juniors players in the world, Charlie Cooper from Palm Springs, California.

One of the fastest growing wheelchair sports in the world, wheelchair tennis is played on a standard tennis court in the same way as able-bodied tennis, with the only exception being that a wheelchair tennis player is allowed two bounces of the ball. The athlete’s wheelchair is considered to be a part of the body, so rules applying to the player’s body apply to the chair as well. Wheelchair tennis has been part of the Paralympic Games since 1992 and has been played at all four Grand Slams since 2007.

Sanctioned by the United States Tennis Association (USTA), the River City Slam is open to all levels, including first-time players in divisions A, B, C, D, and Juniors. All proceeds will directly impact Sportable’s mission to make sports accessible and inclusive for individuals with physical disabilities and visual impairments. For more information about the River City Slam, please contact Forrest Lodge at forrest@sportable.org or 804-340-2991.

About Sportable
Wheelchair tennis is one of more than 15 competitive and recreational sports provided by Sportable, Central Virginia’s premier adaptive sports club. Sportable has created opportunities and transformed the lives of individuals with physical disabilities and visual impairments through sport since 2005. By fostering a fun, inclusive, competitive, and accessible environment, Sportable transforms the lives of athletes and frees them to see beyond their disabilities, enhances their peer relationships and helps them to reach their personal finish line. For more information about Sportable, please visit Sportable.org.

About The Abstract Athlete
The Abstract Athlete brings together athletes, veterans and individuals looking for creative inspiration to exercise the mind. The organization features art by professional athletes (i.e. NFL, MLB, NBA, WBNA) as well as military veterans. Workshops are also offered that address mental health and general wellness through daily art and creative practices. Learn more at theabstractathlete.com.