UH Hosts Nationally Sanctioned Wheelchair Tennis Tournament


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The 2017 Cougar Open, nationally sanctioned by the U.S. Tennis Association, will be held Friday through Sunday, Oct. 6-8, at the Memorial Park Tennis Center, 1500 Memorial Loop in Houston. It is the largest wheelchair tennis tournament in Texas, drawing players from around the nation.

“This event will showcase high-level wheelchair tennis, along with divisions for developmental tennis,” said Michael Cottingham, director of Adaptive Athletics at UH and assistant professor in the Department of Health and Human Performance. “It’s part of a coordinated effort with the United States Tennis Association to grow and develop wheelchair tennis in the metro Houston area and across Texas.”


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Tennis, the newest addition to UH’s adaptive sports program, has allowed individual players across a wide range of disabilities and experience levels to compete and practice on their terms and at their own skill level. As a result, they can reap the emotional benefits of sports and even compete against able bodied players.

“It’s okay to be inspired by this, but these athletes aren’t here to inspire you,” said Michael Cottingham, the director of University of Houston’s Adaptive Athletics program. “They’re here to compete and win.”