In the News

Special Olympics and International Tennis Federation Publish Second E-learning Course on ITF Academy

Young man swings his racket in a backhand to hit a tennis ball.
Special Olympics World Tennis Invitational in Dominican Republic, November 2018.

After a positive response to "Introduction to Coaching Players with Intellectual Disabilities,” Special Olympics and the International Tennis Federation (ITF) joined forces again to publish a second free e-learning course, “Strategies - Coaching Tennis Players with Intellectual Disabilities.” The course can be found on the ITF’s online learning platform, ITF Academy.

Building on the momentum from the first course, Special Olympics and the ITF responded to increased demand for e-learning while taking the next step in coaching athletes with intellectual disabilities (ID). The new course focuses on strategies used by coaches when coaching tennis players with ID.

Screen shot of the course: Strategies - Coaching Tennis Players with Intellectual Disabilities.

“Strategies - Coaching Tennis Players with Intellectual Disabilities” is open to anyone who is interested in learning more about common behavioral characteristics of athletes with ID and strategies that promote a positive and effective coaching environment. The course introduces a variety of coaching models to help coaches create the best experience for their players.

Backed by the strength of our expert coaches, Special Olympics is proud to introduce the global community of ITF coaches to coaching tennis players with intellectual disabilities. This course will empower coaches around the world to continue the fight for inclusion by supporting tennis players with ID in their clubs and classes.

The course was developed with expertise from both Special Olympics and the ITF, with contributors including Cecilia Ancalmo (ITF Development Officer for Central America), Riaan Kruger (ITF Education Team Leader), Jeff Lahart (Specialist, Coach Education at Special Olympics International), Teresa Leitao (Director of Sports at Special Olympics Brazil), Nancy Hoekstra (Special Olympics Tennis Sport Resource Committee Chair) and Kata Orbán-Sebestyén (Tennis Sport Advisor, SOEE).

Luca Santilli, ITF Executive Director of Tennis Development said: “The ITF and Special Olympics have enjoyed a valuable partnership since 2016 to the benefit of our ITF Academy members, coaches and national associations. Online courses on the ITF Academy have been an essential resource for the global tennis community over the past 18 months so we are delighted to develop the courses available to improve the expertise in tennis for coaching players with intellectual disabilities. We look forward to further developing our relationship with Special Olympics and continuing to benefit from their expertise in the future.”

“Special Olympics is delighted to, once again, team up with ITF to create a second learning opportunity for tennis coaches to help promote inclusive coaching of tennis players with ID. Building on the success of our first course on the ITF Academy, the course further cements the partnership of Special Olympics and ITF. We look forward to continuing to engage with the global community of tennis coaches and promoting inclusion in local community programmes around the world.”
Jon-Paul St. Germain, Senior Director, Sports Development & Operations at Special Olympics International

Special Olympics is delighted to continue our partnership with the ITF, a partner who shares our mission of inclusion and desire to improve coach education globally for our athletes.

Recommended Content
In an exciting first, Special Olympics has worked with our partner, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) to create a free e-learning course called an "Introduction to Coaching Players with Intellectual Disabilities" for the ITF’s online learning platform the ITF Academy.
2 Min Read
33 of Top Special Olympics North America Tennis Athletes Featured
1 Min Read
The ‘Tennis Challenge in Celebration of Eunice 100’, led by Special Olympics Hungary, has launched to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of our founder, Eunice Kennedy Shriver.
1 Min Read