The Baton Rouge Wheelchair Tennis Association is a non-profit, all-volunteer 501c3 organization
dedicated to promoting the sport of wheelchair tennis.
It all began in 1983 in Natchez, MS, when local tennis player and high school tennis coach, Jeanie Peabody, wanted to help her godchild, Laura Pritchartt return to an active lifestyle and play tennis after becoming a quadriplegic from a car accident. In an effort to increase awareness and participation in the community, Jeanie brought the tournament to Baton Rouge and thus, the BRWTA and the Cajun Classic were formed.
Our Volunteer Board 2015-16
Pictured (front row, l-r) Rich Swanson, Dawn Swanson, Cajun Classic Tournament Director Jennifer Edmonson, Marilu Major, Dawn Tregre, and Mitch Bourgeois; (second row, l-r) Mary Beth Campagna, Douglas Burket, Martha Turner, Liz Heath, Lynn Serio, Roxane Bingham, Butley Mahler, Emily Greene, and Rusty Jabour; (top row, l-r) Erin Meyers, Dee LeBauve, Maria Magee, Danielle Morris, Abby Heath, Kathrin Sieberth, and Lynn Hitchcock.
Over the years the Cajun Classic tournament has grown to become an internationally sanctioned event where both professional players and amateurs can come to participate in a competitive yet social event. The tournament is open to people of all ages with all disabilities, including paraplegics, quadriplegics, amputees, and those with birth defects.
In 2015, BRWTA produced the inaugural Kelly Elkins State Farm “Hallowheel” charity tennis tournament, Oct. 30 – Nov. 1, 2015, in Baton Rouge, to raise funds to help the Cajun Classic. The annual Hallowheel tournament features a main draw of traditional men’s and women’s doubles and a special “Up-Down” draw where wheelchair players are partnered with able-bodied players for doubles competition. In 2017, a pickleball tournament was added to Hallowheel, and since 2015, the Hallowheel events have raised $45,000 for the Cajun Classic.
BRWTA also hosts the Hallowheel Adaptive Tennis Clinic each October in Baton Rouge for children and adults who are new to tennis. The clinic features games, prizes, mobility exercises and tennis instruction. The BRWTA also hosts wheelchair tennis clinics in other cities, including Lafayette and New Orleans.