Men's tennis teams up with ACEing Autism

Seth Rogers '10

Members of the men's tennis team are being recognized for their impressive work off the court. Since the end of their season, players have been teaming up with ACEing Autism each weekend at the Longfellow Tennis Club in Wayland, Mass. where they are teaching the game to children with autism. "It's been fun for us as much as the kids," said senior captain Seth Rogers '10. "Everyone loves seeing how happy the kids get. I think they really look forward to their Saturdays."

ACEing Autism's mission is to make the sport of tennis available to children with autism and to use tennis as a means to enhance health and fitness, hand-eye coordination and motor development and improve the social skills for children with autism.

Founded by the husband and wife team of Richard Spurling, a tennis professional, and Shafali Spurling Jeste, a pediatric neurologist studying the brain basis for autism, the organization has flourished since its creation two years ago. The weekly on court sessions give children, ages four though sixteen, a cost-effective activity that is all too rare for children with these special needs. The kids are not only introduced to the basics of tennis, but they are given the opportunity to make meaningful social connections with other children in their age group.

"The Brandeis men's tennis team has been an invaluable addition to ACEing Autism," said Spurling. "The children in the program look forward to seeing the Brandeis players and they are forming a special friendship. We look forward to continuing this partnership for many years to come." 

The Boston Globe recently highlighted the team's efforts in it's Nov. 26 "Sports Notebook" column.

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