UK Tennis Programs Give Back To Lexington Community

Dec. 15, 2009

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Members of the University of Kentucky men's and women's tennis teams took time out before finals week to give back to the community of Lexington this holiday season.

Members from both teams helped throw a Christmas party for the mentally challenged with Therapeutic Recreation, a part of the Fayette County Parks Department.

"We have done a lot with the tennis teams in the past and they really seem to enjoy working with us," said Brent Claiborne, recreation services senior with the Fayette County Parks Department and nephew of former UK head football coach Jerry Claiborne. "In fact, one of the guys came up to me and said, `The tennis guys are back.' It is great to see them recognize them and get excited to see them."

Both teams helped Claiborne and his workers at Therapeutic Recreation to decorate for the Christmas party and help serve food. After the dinner, members from both teams stayed to dance with some of the participants to add to their experience.

"Brent is a real hero," said men's tennis head coach Dennis Emery. "He does such a great job with this very special group. It is a real honor for our team to take this time to serve the food and enjoy some dancing."

The tennis programs have been instrumental in giving back to the community, welcoming the same group that was involved in the Christmas party over to Boone Tennis Center to watch practice and have some fun with the tennis teams. 

"This is a great event for our team to take part in," said women's tennis coach Carlos Drada. "Our girls look forward to this every year. It is a chance for us to give back to the community that is so good to us."

The teams have been helping Therapeutic Recreation with the Christmas party for three years.