In a journey from Buddy Up Tennis Coach to Buddy Up Connection, two of our amazing Coaches took on a different role in our organization in the Winter of 2021. Coach Anna Jones from Dayton, OH and Coach Daniel Lim from Dallas, TX became Buddies in our Buddy Up Connections Program, and were paired with local Athletes to meet weekly and develop a meaningful bond beyond the courts. Anna’s and Daniel’s dedication to our Athletes is evident in their enthusiastic embracing of this new role!
Coach Anna Jones is our Lead Coach in Dayton, OH, and has been working with our Dayton Athletes for over three years. She connects seamlessly with our Athletes and brings incredible energy to the courts. In fact, at the 2019 Buddy Up Tennis Team Challenge at the Western and Southern Open, Coach Anna led the Dayton Athletes, Buddies, and Coaches to victory! When COVID-19 hit and we began virtual programming, Coach Anna was one of the first Coaches to join the virtual Buddy Up Tennis Sessions, sharing her energy and excitement with Athletes from across the nation. When the opportunity arose to be Athlete Davis’ Buddy for Buddy Up Connections, she gladly stepped in, and the two had a blast heading to Skyzone, meeting for facetime, and just hanging out. Anna is an exemplary Coach, and we are beyond grateful that she is such an integral member of our Buddy Up for Life family, both on and off the courts.
After serving as both a Buddy Up Tennis Coach and a Buddy Up Connection, Coach Anna has a message for her community regarding her Athletes: “I want my community to know that when you meet our Athletes, they light up the room with their smiles and big hearts. Our Athletes are the most caring, confident, loving, goofy, and genuine people that I know. I am one proud Coach.” And we are one proud organization to have Coach Anna as a member of our Buddy Up for Life family!
Working alongside our Dallas Coordinator, Coach Daniel Lim serves as our Lead Coach in Dallas, TX. The Dallas chapter was launched two years ago, and Coach Daniel continues to play an incredibly positive and instrumental role in our Athletes’ development. He became a local celebrity on the Buddy Up Tennis Dallas Zoom dance parties, and teamed up with Athlete Jackson to serve as his Buddy Up Connection. Jackson and Daniel had a blast together each week, and even snuck in some friendly tennis competition! Daniel serves as a model coach in his dedication to our Dallas Athletes, and we look forward to many more years on the courts with him!
Coach Daniel shared that, although the experience of being a Buddy was different from that of being a Coach, there was one underlying and impactful similarity: “Participating in Buddy Up Connections one-on-one with Jackson was different from leading 100+ people on the courts at once during a Buddy Up Tennis clinic. However, both are precious gifts.”
Many of our tennis coaches join the Buddy Up for Life family because their facility becomes home to a local chapter, but they stay with the program for years to come due to the impactful connections they make with the Athletes and the Down syndrome community. Coaches Anna and Daniel are proof of these everlasting connections.