Ontario Shores Rallies for Mental Health

August 31, 2015

By James Gasparini

​The benefits that physical activity has on mental health and well-being is well known.

From reduced levels of anxiety and depression to a positive mood, physical activity is one of the pillars of recovery.

On Saturday August 29, patients visited the Whitby Tennis Club to participate in Ontario Shores' Rally for Mental Health Tennis event. In attendance and coaching were Jay Neil, Club Membership Manager from the Ontario Tennis Association (OTA), Dale Power, Canadian Tennis Hall of Famer and seven time member of the Canadian Davis Cup Team, and James Gasparini, Peer Support Specialist with Ontario Shores and former NCAA (Division 1) player from Western Carolina University.

The day began with introductions of basic tennis skills which included forehands, backhands and led to some singles and doubles competitions. Patients were eager to hit the courts and participate in the day's activities. Ontario Shores Therapeutic Recreation (Paul Hutcheson, Tiffany Fowler, Melissa Geary, Jeremy Sullivan) and Nursing Staff joined the action and events throughout the day. The event was followed with a Barbeque and prizes were received by all who attended.

Special thanks to the wonderful support provided by Jay Neil, Dale Power, Augustus Mattachioni, Paul Hutcheson, Chris Bovie, Jordan Leroux and to Jennifer Gardner for her continued support of this event.

This is an annual clinic that teaches tennis skills, sportsmanship and the power sport and athletics can play in recovery of our patients living with a mental health diagnosis.