Love Serving Autism beach tennis event attracts dozens

There was a lot of Love on the Beach for a recent beach tennis clinic.

The Love Serving Autism beach tennis clinic on Singer Island in Riviera Beach attracted dozens of children and adults on July 10 who worked on their fitness and social skills by playing games. The free event went from 9 to 11 a.m.

It provided lessons in the sand and enabled the participants on the autism spectrum to also hone their social skills. The families were from throughout Palm Beach County.

“It went great,” said Michelle Bos, of Delray Beach, who is the president of Beach Tennis Palm Beach, which hosted the event. “We were so happy with the event for the autistic kids.”

Love Serving Autism expands life skills, especially communication, through specialized therapeutic tennis instruction to increase community inclusion and independence of individuals with developmental challenges.

Love Serving Autism founder and CEO Lisa Pugliese-Lacroix, 47, and Bos, 51, plan to have another similar event in October.

Due to COVID-19 protocols, Beach Tennis Palm Beach has moved from its courts on Delray Beach to Singer Island for open beach tennis play every weekend. Bos said the city of Delray Beach and the lifeguards won’t allow her to set up more than two courts.

“The sport is growing a lot and two (courts) isn’t enough to have 50 to 60 people playing,” Bos said. “Singer Island is letting us use all the space needed and supports us and everything we are doing.”

In addition to Pugliese-Lacroix and Bos, the other coaches who helped were Armando Ghinaglia, 47, and Alex Pop, 40.

The goal is for participants to apply their newly learned skills throughout the community, including school, workplace, social/recreational gatherings and home settings. The organization hosts events all year on and off the tennis courts.

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