Passionate about her Saturday morning experiences at Buddy Up Tennis Cincinnati, Kristina Bauer wanted to share her love of the program with her classmates, and started a Buddy Up Tennis Club at the Summit Country Day School. From a seventh grader to a senior in high school, Buddy Up Tennis has been a formative experience in Kristina’s life. The true family feel of a Buddy Up Tennis Cincinnati clinic is what drove Kristina to create the Buddy Up Tennis Club at her high school. She felt as if the members of her high school did not know much about Down syndrome and the group of Athletes that she spends her Saturdays with, “I wanted to get my peers involved in Buddy Up Tennis, because there is little knowledge surrounding Down Syndrome [at my high school]…I wanted to spread the word about the amazing group of people I have grown incredibly close to as well.” Knowing that her high school community placed an emphasis on sports and a healthy lifestyle, Kristina could not think of a better way to combine her Saturday morning experience with the Summit Country Day School student body – a Buddy Up Tennis Club. This high school club will introduce over 30 students to Buddy Up Tennis this Fall.

Kristina attributes her continuous involvement in Buddy Up Tennis Cincinnati clinics to, “The community of new friends that kept me intrigued and wanting to come back to each session.” With the Cincinnati team of Athletes, Buddies, and Coaches being very close knit after having worked with each other since the program launch eight years ago, Kristina too has created friendships with the Athletes that she has worked with over the years, such as Christopher, “ When I first started volunteering, I worked mostly with Christopher and got to know him really well, learning more about him as the months went by. He still really enjoys getting pizza after every Saturday clinic!” and Natalia, “one of the sweetest and most hardworking individuals that I have ever met,” notes Kristina.

Kristina advertised her club at a Summit Country Day School community service fair.

The Buddy Up Tennis Buddy experience will stay with Kristina long after she graduates from high school this Spring, “My Buddy Up Tennis experiences will reside with me for an incredibly long time. I hope to always have some sort of involvement,” says Kristina.

Kristina also hopes that once she graduates, the underclassmen that she has gotten involved, will continue to recruit Buddies for our Cincinnati location through the Buddy Up Tennis Club at Summit Country Day School. We are beyond grateful to have dedicated Buddies, such as Kristina, at all of our locations in which their time as a Buddy influences their lives off the courts in their schools and workplaces.

Kristina enjoying a Buddy Up Tennis Clinic with Athletes, Carson and Christopher.