News from Cardigan

Eighth-Grader Organizes Tennis Event to “Help the Other Fella”
Date: 04/13/2018

Gianluca AudiaThere’s no question tennis is a favorite sport for many Cardigan Mountain School students, with more than 50 students currently on the roster of four teams this spring. Eighth-grader Gianluca Audia recently took his love of the sport to a new level by combining it with a volunteer effort that truly embodies Cardigan’s dedication to “help the other fella.”

After watching a video of Paralympic champions Novak Djokovic and Dylan Alcott playing wheelchair tennis prior to the 2017 Australian Open, Gianluca served up some inspiration. “It made me think about how much I like to play tennis and that everyone –including kids with disabilities – should get to enjoy tennis too,” he said. “I decided I wanted to help make that happen.”

Group photoHis idea was to create the “Swing Into Spring” fundraising event for the Upper Valley community. He partnered with Buddy Up Tennis, a national non-profit that provides individuals with Down syndrome the opportunity to learn the sport. To help with organizing the complex event, Gianluca joined forces with Positive Tracks, a national non-profit organization which helps kids combine civic leadership with physical activity.

The round robin event took place on April 8, 2018 at the River Valley Club in nearby Lebanon, NH, and drew so much interest and support that registration was filled within two weeks.

Shaking handsA total of 32 tennis players participated in the event, including two Cardigan students and two faculty members. They were cheered on by more than 40 spectators. Gianluca worked hard to gather many local sponsors to provide food, refreshments, and raffle prizes.

Thanks to his efforts, the event was a huge success and raised more than $8,000, all of which goes to the Buddy Up Tennis organization. “It was great that we had so many people out there raising awareness for Buddy Up Tennis,” said Gianluca back at Cardigan’s campus. “The event is a step towards ensuring every kid is able to play tennis.”
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