By WVUA 23 Student Reporter Kelsey Daugherty

The University of Alabama’s Adapted Athletics team defended their national title in tennis over the weekend. UA’s four-person team faced five other universities while pursuing — and winning — their third National Championship.

“Having an opportunity to play collegiate athletics and represent your university is huge,” said Alabama Wheelchair Tennis Head Coach Evan Enquist. “Every athlete should have that opportunity. So when we have these individuals that are injured playing wheelchair sports we want to give them the same opportunity as the able-bodied have.”

This is the wheelchair tennis team’s fifth year at the school, and players hope the program only grows from here.

“I think inclusion is the most important part. Just being able to show that we are a competitive sport team, we are not just out there,” said team member Shelby Baron. “We’re having fun but we’re really competing for championships, for titles.”

Alabama is one of only 23 colleges nationwide that offer adapted athletic sports, and is also home to men and women’s wheelchair basketball, adapted golf and rowing.

“I came from Hawaii where there’s not anybody for me to play with and coming to college and just being able to represent a college while playing the sport I love has been an amazing opportunity,” said Baron.

In February, The University of Alabama broke ground on a new adapted athletics facility, which will be the first of its kind on any college campus.

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