Hispanic Heritage Month was initially instated in 1968 as National Hispanic Heritage Week and then expanded in 1988 to an entire 31-day period of Sept. 15 – Oct. 15.
This year USTA Texas kicks off the celebration by promoting tennis at ¡Vive tu vida! Get Up! Get Moving! ®, the nation’s premier annual Hispanic family physical activity and healthy lifestyle. The event was hosted at Keist Park in Dallas on Friday, Sept. 6 where it was estimated that over 3,000 residents were in attendance.
Participants received free tennis instruction from the Dallas Tennis Association’s Slam Jammer volunteers in addition to the health screenings, snacks and prize offerings provided by the event.
This month, USTA Texas would like you to share your stories on Hispanic Americans who have influenced you in tennis and how tennis has influenced you as a Hispanic American. These stories can be of how legendary tennis player Pancho Gonzalez inspired your playing style or how your grandmother’s assistance in getting to tennis practice always kept you active.
Working hand in hand with the people of Texas, USTA Texas is working toward developing and growing the game of tennis for everyone.
Chris was diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy at the age of four. As a young boy, he and his parents, Steve and Jan Davidson, made many trips to the Scottish Rite Hospital in Dallas for Chris’ treatment. During one of their visits, they discovered a small park near the hospital designed specifically for disabled children. Chris loved the park, and began to look forward to his visits to the hospital because it meant he could play there.
Chris’ parents noticed the lack of wheelchair accessible playgrounds in Midland, and decided to create a park where all children, regardless of their disabilities, could play together. With the support and donations of countless Midlanders, Steve and Jan raised over a half-million dollars to build the park in only three months.
The Chris Davidson Opportunity Park is no ordinary park. The equipment, walkways, and all other park features are completely wheelchair accessible. When the park opened, it was one of only three facilities in the entire country that met this standard, and has since served as a model for wheelchair accessible parks all over the nation.
Now with the wonderful donation of land from Henry Energy LP to Bush Tennis Center, we will be building and establishing the new Opportunity Park to honor Chris Davidson.
The relocation of the park will allow for improvements and updates to be made on the park’s equipment. Sandboxes, slides, monkey bars, and the other elements of the park are outfitted with special ramps, and designed for easy access to those in wheelchairs. All are invited – with or without a disability – to enjoy the equipment and community nature of the Opportunity Park.
In order to reduce any vandalism and crime, the park will also feature a fence around the perimeter, which will be locked during nighttime hours. There will be state-of-the-art security cameras installed for additional safety.
The Chris Davidson Opportunity Park is considered a private park, but is open to all.
For more information on the Chris Davidson Opportunity Park, contact Steve Davidson.
For more information on Bush Tennis Center and the donation of Henry Energy LP, contact Valerie Acosta or call 432.620.8180
Midland Tennis Center Inc., a 501(c)(3) organization, exists to provide everyone the opportunity to experience the game of tennis regardless of physical, financial or geographical barriers.
Through collaboration with community-based organizations and implementing the programs that will help us achieve our mission, we will make a difference in youth and adults throughout the Permian Basin. Our programs will address obesity, health, wellness and character not only to develop a tennis player but to develop an individual.