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Published October 18th, 2017
Miramonte senior founds adaptive unlimited sports program
Bryce Radlow Photo John T. Miller

Bryce Radlow, an enthusiastic and driven senior at Miramonte High School, has funneled his passion for tennis into forming an Adaptive Unlimited Sports organization for local youth to have fun and be successful on the tennis courts.
His latest endeavor will be to sponsor an event at the Miramonte tennis courts from 10 a.m. to noon this Saturday, Oct 21. The public is invited to view adaptive tennis in action.
At their inaugural event last July, about 25 participants, ranging in age from 10-17 years old, competed.
Radlow credits Michael Wayman, the former successful head tennis coach at Saint Mary's College, for inspiring him to create the organization. "He was giving a clinic for youth and told a story about when Jimmy Connors - who was ranked No. 1 at the time - kicked him off a court so he could practice. From then on, Wayman vowed that there would be no hierarchy on the court. Everyone should have as much fun as they could."
Also influencing him was a wheelchair basketball event in eighth grade. "I was amazed at how fantastic the young athletes were despite their various disabilities and wanted to bring this kind of excellence to my favorite sport: tennis.
"I started this because I care a lot about tennis," adds Radlow. "It bothered me to see wheelchair and disabled athletes not getting fair treatment. The tennis court should be for everyone."
Since founding the organization in 2015, Radlow ran into a number of hurdles, including trying to start a nonprofit and dealing with insurance issues. Since that time, the United States Tennis Association and Special Olympics have jumped on board to help sponsor the organization.
The USTA takes care of insurance and finds athletes to participate, while also providing banners, tennis balls and other equipment. Grants from the USTA cover the cost of the events, which are free for participants.
Special Olympics provides some of the young athletes. Christine Costamagna, who is the founder of the Special Olympics tennis program in her community of Marin County, will help out with Saturday's event.
"Christine is the master," says Radlow. "She will bring some advanced Special Olympians who really can compete."
Radlow explained the differences between wheelchair and adaptive sports: "Wheelchair athletes are often extremely competitive and gifted," he says. "Some of them can really move. Adaptive sports focuses on more developmental disabilities, such as Down syndrome, Asperger's, and some extreme forms of Tourette syndrome, and other, more isolated disabilities.
"For me," sums up Radlow, "I can get so focused on school and sports, it's a privilege to be able to use my abilities to create opportunities for others to succeed by putting on these events."
Radlow is currently projected to play the No. 4, 5, or 6 singles on Miramonte's varsity roster this spring, and will occasionally play in the No. 1 doubles matchup.
Although Radlow might like to play tennis in college, he says he may prefer to focus on academics and has his sights set on some East Coast schools such as Syracuse, Rutgers, or the University of Maryland.
"No matter where I go, though," says the energetic senior, "I plan on continuing to work with adaptive youth on the tennis courts."

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