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MACS Veterans’ Journey Through Padel Programs Culminates in Memorial Day Event


The transformative power of sports was vividly on display as two groups of veterans marked significant milestones in their journey with the sport of Padel, thanks to dedicated programs aimed at fostering physical and mental resilience. The United States Padel Association (USPA), in collaboration with Military Adaptive Court Sports (MACS), proudly celebrated the graduation of veterans from two key programs this spring.

Graduation Ceremonies in Washington D.C. and New York

The first ceremony took place at the Washington D.C. VA Medical Center (VAMC), where nine veterans completed a six-week basic training program in Padel. These veterans made a significant commitment, traveling three hours from Washington D.C. to Padelphia at AFC Fitness in Philadelphia each week. Their recreational therapist, Ms. Niketia Davis, played a crucial role in ensuring that all logistical needs—transportation and meals—were met, enabling full participation. The program concluded on February 21st, with additional training support provided by Chris Haley from the Baltimore Padel Club.

The second graduation involved a combined group from the Hudson Valley VAMC and the Bronx VAMC. Under the guidance of Pedro Gonzalez and William Rios, six veterans underwent a similar six-week training regimen at Padel Haus in Brooklyn, New York. Their training focused on mastering the basics of Padel, including back-wall drills, serving, and net play, culminating in their graduation on April 26th.

Intra-VA Competition on Memorial Day

To celebrate their accomplishments and the competitive spirit of the veterans, MACS will be hosting an Intra-VA competition on Memorial Day, May 25th. The event will feature Team Washington D.C. VAMC facing off against Team New York VAMC in a day-long tournament at Padelphia in Philadelphia. This event not only serves as a celebration of their hard-earned skills but also as a testament to the camaraderie and rehabilitative power of sports.

Reflecting on the Impact of Padel on Veterans

Bill Ullman, USPA Board Member, shared his thoughts on the initiative: “I was honored to help Steven Harper (former Lt. Commander US Navy) and MACS at Padel Haus recently. Sharing the joy of Padel with our vets while representing the USPA was a truly special experience.” Fully capturing the essence of the program’s impact—bringing joy and a sense of achievement to those who have served their country.

Looking Forward

The success of these programs highlights the effective collaboration between various VA medical centers, MACS, and local Padel facilities. As these veterans continue to engage with Padel, the benefits extend beyond physical health, promoting mental well-being and social integration. The upcoming Memorial Day tournament is just the beginning, as these programs hope to inspire more veterans to take up Padel and experience its positive impacts.

The USPA and MACS remain committed to expanding these opportunities, ensuring that veterans across the country have the chance to engage with Padel and rebuild their lives through sports.