OUR STORY

Buddy Up Tennis began over a decade ago with a mother, a son, a buddy and one determined coach. Today, our nationally-recognized program touches the lives of athletes with Down syndrome across the country.

OUR STORY

Buddy Up Tennis began over a decade ago with a mother, a son, and two determined coaches. Today, our nationally-recognized program touches the lives of athletes with Down syndrome across the country.
Buddy Up Tennis began in the summer of 2008 when Beth Gibson, Founder and President of Buddy Up Tennis, would take her then 3-year old son Will to Wickertree Tennis & Fitness Club while she and her older son Keegan played tennis.
Will has Down syndrome, and even at 3 years old, was fascinated by the sport of tennis. Noticing his enthusiasm, Coach Doug DiRosario and Stephanie Anderson, two staff members at the tennis club, volunteered to teach tennis to Will. To help Will learn, they researched techniques for teaching tennis to children with Down syndrome. As a result of the research, Beth, Doug and Stephanie realized that there was a void as well as a need for organized tennis and fitness programs for individuals with Down syndrome. Together, they took the initiative to change this.

Beginning with simple activities such as popping bubbles or hitting balloons in order to build hand-eye coordination, they eventually developed a comprehensive curriculum to teach tennis and fitness to individuals with Down syndrome. The first Buddy Up Tennis clinic was held in December 2008 in Columbus, Ohio. In the decade following, Buddy Up Tennis has spread to dozens of cities across the country, has been featured at multiple ATP Pro Circuit Tournaments including the US Open, and was recognized by the United States Tennis Association as the Adaptive Program of the Year in 2016.