Dataw Island, SC (May 10, 2019) - It's love, set, and match as student athletes from Beaufort Middle, Robert Smalls International Academy, and Whale Branch Middle met at Dataw Island for the year-end finale of the Public Tennis Inc. THANK YOU to all Dataw members who supported this event through volunteering, your donations, baking cookies -- and coming out to cheer on these athletes!

As the school year nears completion, a very special group of middle school tennis players met at Dataw Island for an inter-school tennis tournament. The players had participated in the Special Olympics-style program sponsored by SOAR and Public Tennis, Inc. (PTI) throughout the year, which unites special needs athletes together with their peers in a physical-fitness and life-skills program, centered on the game of tennis. 

Students from Beaufort Middle School, Whale Branch Middle School and Robert Smalls Middle School came together at the stadium courts of the Dataw Island Tennis Center to compete in a season-finale field-day style event, complete with drills, skills tests, some very competitive tennis matches, and an enjoyable pizza party and awards. 

Event Coordinator Michael Chambers said, “It is an honor to host these kids in a mini Special Olympics style event. They have worked so hard throughout the year, and this is a fun way to celebrate their progress and enjoy a little friendly competition between schools.” 

Chambers, who is both a PTI board member and a resident member at Dataw Island Club also noted the success of the program cannot be attributed to any one individual. “The volunteers who go out to the schools each week are instrumental in keeping the program afloat, as well as the teachers and staff at the schools who support the initiative. Perhaps most poignant, though, is the support of these students’ peers. A group of student volunteers, most of whom are honors students, recognize the value of inclusiveness and choose to dedicate their time to the PTI program.” 

PTI is anon-profit organization serving Beaufort County offering a wide range of accessible and affordable tennis programs on public facilities. PTI has ongoing and productive relationships with Beaufort County’s two Parks and Recreation organizations and the USTA. 

Wayne Lilley, the president of PTI, explained, “We are fortunate to have passionate volunteers and coaches who breathe life into our programs and allow us to offer quality tennis training and play opportunities at little or no cost.”



About Dataw Island

Dataw Island is a gated golf, tennis and boating lifestyle community located fifteen minutes outside of historic downtown Beaufort. The island features two recently-renovated golf courses by designers Tom Fazio and Arthur Hills, a tennis center, a community center with workout and massage facilities, three restaurants, world class croquet lawns, bocce, kayaking, and more. The community has also been ranked the number one best retirement destination in South Carolina by Best Retirement Destinations and is the recipient of the 2017 Bliss Award for “Happiest South Carolina Community” as well as the “2018 Club of the Year” (South Carolina Golf Association) and one of four private clubs named by USTA as an “Outstanding Tennis Facility.” 


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