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Swing into Spring Fundraiser: Cardigan Mountain Eighth-Grader Jumps into Action

Mar 29, 2018 08:58PM ● By Linda Ditch

Picture courtesy of The Valley News

Have you heard about Cardigan Mountain eighth-grader Gianluca Audia? He loves to play tennis, and after watching a video of a wheelchair match held before the 2017 Australian Open, he started thinking the sport should be available to anyone who wants to play. He then came up with Swing into Spring round-robin doubles tournament
happening on April 8 at the River Valley Club.

All of the registration fees and additional donations will benefit Buddy Up Tennis, an adaptive tennis, and fitness program for children and young adults with Down syndrome. RVC has donated the courts and staff for the event. So far, registration has raised almost $5,000.

Beth Gibson, Buddy Up Tennis founder, and president plans to bring her family from Ohio to attend the event. She started the organization because of her three-year-old son, Will, who has Down syndrome. He showed an interest in tennis when he went with Beth and her older son to a local tennis club to watch them play. Club staff offered to teach Will how to play and did a lot of research to find out how. Their efforts culminated in an organized tennis and fitness program offered at clubs around the country. Beth Gibson plans to investigate starting Buddy Up Tennis classes at RVC, the first offered in the Northeast.

Registration to play in the Swing into Spring event was filled within two weeks after opening. However, you can still attend to watch the action and donate to the cause. The matches start at 9 am and go until noon. There will also be “Return a Pro’s Serve” and “King of Court” competitions, plus treats donated by Lou's Restaurant & Bakery and Boloco. For more details on the event, go to

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