Disabled Athletes Showcase Wheelchair Tennis Skills at Connecticut Open

Carlos Quiles from Meriden does not let his disability limit his love of sports.

"I play organized wheelchair basketball, I coach and play on the team," he said. "And I also do track and road racing as well."

Now 35, Quiles has been wheelchair bound from an injury suffered when he was only two-years-old.

"Sports overall, really helped me become who I am," Quiles said. "Shaped who I am today, helped me become independent."

Wednesday afternoon at the Connecticut Open in New Haven, Quiles participated in Adaptive Tennis Day.

"You get a second bounce if you like it, if you want," Quiles said. "Otherwise the rules are the same."

Quiles represented the team from the Sports Association of Gaylord Hospital in Wallingford, which offers several adaptive sports and recreation programs.

"We’re here to showcase the sport and show people that wheelchair tennis is tennis," said program manager Katie Joly. "It’s just as fast, just as exciting."

For Quiles, taking the court to play wheelchair tennis is just another chance to change the public’s perception of people with disabilities.

"Whether it’s an event like where we’re playing tennis or any other sport, my goal is really to showcase people like look we can do this we play sports just like everybody else," Quiles said. "And on top of that you start conversations with people and they get to know you a little bit better and they’re like, oh you have a job, you drive and you live a full like everybody else."

Contact Us