| By Long Island Tennis Magazine Staff
Stop World Hunger Tennis Tournaments
For nearly 30 years, the Stop World Hunger Tennis Tournaments have been played on Long Island. The impetus of this effort began with the work of a very nice and charitable man by the name of Matt Swit of Amityville, N.Y. Matt used to be a marathon runner who would sell his miles and donate the money to Catholic Charities, who in turn, used the money to feed hungry children around the world.
When Matt discovered tennis more than 28 years ago, he had the idea of holding tournaments where the very inexpensive entry fee was donated to the same charity. Matt later added tennis parties, which are held four times annually at Carefree Racquet Club in North Merrick, N.Y. The tournaments, held in the spring and fall, include men’s singles and doubles, women’s singles and doubles, and mixed doubles. Primarily, intermediate and advanced players compete for trophies which are awarded at the tennis parties. Matt contributes all the monies to Catholic Charities, and over the years, has donated more than $90,000 from his charitable tennis endeavors. New players are always welcome. If you love tennis, want to get some great exercise, make new friends, and wish to help feed hungry children, get involved with an upcoming Stop World Hunger Tennis Tournament.
You won’t be sorry!
For more information on the Stop World Hunger Tennis program, call Matt Swit at (631) 789-3618.
Point Set MS Clinics bring awareness to the National Tennis Association for the Disabled
The National Tennis Association for the Disabled (NTAD) was founded in the early 1980s by Dan Dwyer and some friends. At that time, Dan received a call from a player who said he wanted to enter one of the many United States Tennis Association-sanctioned tournaments held at Point Set Indoor Racquet Club Inc. in Oceanside, N.Y. Dan was a little annoyed and confused that this call reached his desk and not the desk of the tournament director, and asked the man to hold on while he transferred the call. The man, John Johnston, instantly interjected that there might be a problem in that he was in a wheelchair.
Dan asked, “Are you out of your mind?” John, being a seasoned player, instantly responded that he was quite good.
Dan replied, “Okay. Suppose you meet me here at Point Set tomorrow, and I will spend some time with you at no charge to you to see just how good you are.”
Dan also told him that he would be quite blunt in his analysis and hopefully John’s feelings would not be hurt.
The next morning, John showed up as promised and he and Dan went on court to hit some balls. After five minutes, Dan was very nervous about how he was going to explain to his customers that this guy in a wheelchair was going to beat 85 percent of them!
From that point on, amazing things started to happen. Dan arranged to have two exhibitions in Madison Square Garden during the Masters Tennis Tournament and brought in one of the best wheelchair players of the time, Brad Parks, along with some other wheelchair-bound players.
“When we went on to the court, there was so much noise you could hardly hear yourself think, but by the time I hit the third ball back to Brad and he returned in with a deep forehand drive, you could hear a pin drop in Madison Square Garden,” said Dwyer.
Shortly after that, NTAD conducted its first wheelchair tournament, and shortly after that, was awarded an International Tennis Federation Sanction to conduct the largest prize money wheelchair tennis tournament in the world with a top prize of $25,000. The top wheelchair players in the world every year for eight years came to Oceanside, N.Y. to compete.
Dan ultimately got the United States Tennis Association to create a permanent Wheelchair Tennis Committee and was appointed its first chairperson. A few years later, Dan was the first American to serve on the International Tennis Federation (ITF) Wheelchair Tennis Committee. Now, wheelchair tennis exists in more than 60 countries worldwide.
NTAD is currently directing most of its efforts to conducting clinics for those suffering from Multiple Sclerosis and other orthopedically-challenged individuals. Every Tuesday from noon-1:00 p.m., in conjunction with the Long Island Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, clinics are personally conducted by Dan Dwyer and other volunteer pros at the Point Set Indoor Racquet Club (3065 New Street in Oceanside, N.Y.). All clinics are currently free and include both ambulatory and wheelchair-bound individuals of both sexes and all ages. Spectators are welcome and encouraged to watch and or volunteer.
Although times are tough and the National MS Society cannot fund the program any longer, NTAD and Point Set Indoor Racquet Club will continue the program each and every Tuesday. The players love the program and each week, anywhere from eight to 10 tennis aficionados can be found playing.
Dan Dwyer is also available to address local support groups to motivate them to be all that they want to be. There has not been a single individual who has attended a Point Set MS Clinic who did not enjoy themselves way beyond their expectations. In fact, most thought they would not be able to hit the ball, but every one of them not only hits the ball, but many can play points and all enjoy the spirit of enthusiasm and fun.

For more information, contact Point Set Indoor Racquet Club Inc. at (516) 536-2655 or visit www.pointsettennis.com.