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Florida Tech Tennis Provides Clinic for Autism Social Skills Program
Five men and five women tennis players took part in running the clinic on Wednesday.
Five men and five women tennis players took part in running the clinic on Wednesday.
The children enjoyed learning the game of tennis from the Florida Tech student-athletes.
The children enjoyed learning the game of tennis from the Florida Tech student-athletes.

MELBOURNE, Fla. (Men’s and Women’s Tennis) –  Head coach Bill Macom and several of his men’s and women’s tennis players held a tennis clinic as part of the Scott Center for Autism Treatment’s “Get Fit with FIT (Social Skills) Program” on Wednesday at the Clemente Center.

The Get fit with FIT Program, also known as Social Skills Program, works with children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). The program offers a place where children can play sports in a supportive environment and make friends. The Scott Center for Autism Treatment also uses the program to work on breaking down barriers to social engagement through fun, engaging activities. The program uses sport as a vehicle for teaching social skills, and the Florida Tech student-athletes serve as models and facilitators.

“It was a very energetic clinic,” Coach Macom said. “The kids all had a great time and our team members did an excellent job being instructors. They kept smiles on everyone’s faces.”

Ten of the men’s and women’s tennis players took part in the clinic to teach the children different skills from the game of tennis, while also providing a social interaction to help develop the children’s social skills.

“We have found that there is a direct correlation between fun and the quality of social interactions—fun leads to learning,” Social Skills Program Coordinator Genevieve Marshall said. “The kids love athlete-led sessions, and this means the involvement of FIT student-athletes translates directly to increased learning opportunities for our kids.

“The program would not exist without the support of Bill and the tennis program. The tennis session was a huge success—the kids love tennis. The tennis team did a wonderful job running the session. They were enthusiastic, patient and fostered skill development in kids who may not have ever tried tennis otherwise. We are looking forward to the Aces for Autism Clinic, and can’t wait to wrap up our term with another tennis-led session.”

The Aces for Autism Clinic will take place on June 15, while a second tennis-run Social Skills Program clinic is scheduled for April 4.

Coach Macom and the tennis program will also be holding a free community tennis clinic this Friday, Jan. 25 from 6:30-8 p.m. at the Fee Avenue Courts. The clinic is free and open to the public, ages seven and older.

For more information, contact Bill Macom by phone at 321-674-7181, or by email at bmacom@fit.edu

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