|Bryan and Ryan Fisher: Winners of the Hillsborough County Special Olympics Zenay Morales 2014 Courage Award|
|Written by Lori Bukaweski, Associate Executive Director|
Brandon, FL April 9. 2014: Bryan & Ryan Fisher who play in the Tennis for Fun Program at the Brandon Sports and Aquatic Center, won the Zenay Morales Courage Award this year. Below is the nomination that was submitted on their behalf: Bryan and Ryan Fisher: Together they have overcome obstacles, together they have accomplished so much, together they have become outstanding young men who give back to their community, so together we nominate them.
Bryan and Ryan are identical twins born on July 7, 1986. At the age of three they were diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder. They attended preschool in Germany and elementary school in Korea. They were home schooled until graduating from high school in 2005.
They compete in four Special Olympic sports: basketball, golf, bowling and tennis (for 10 years). We met them when they joined our Tennis For Fun clinics in 2003. In tennis they have improved dramatically. Tennis For Fun began focusing on individual skills. Bryan and Ryan were among the first to develop sufficient tennis skills to move up to singles. They now compete at the highest level of Special Olympics singles. They practice together outside of the clinic every week all year long. They regularly beat their coaches. They are an inspiration to all of the Tennis For Fun family. During our 3:00pm clinic, they are coaches and work with other athletes on the mini-tennis courts. They demonstrate a positive, encouraging attitude.
They have participated in the Brandon TOPPS Soccer League for 8 years. Bryan and Ryan enjoy being physically active. They are members of the YMCA where they work out at least 6 hours each week. They are members of the Special Olympics "Get Fit for Sport Team Florida", a program that promotes healthy life styles through regular physical activity, sports participation and healthy eating. They believe in healthy eating. Each is responsible for planning, preparing and cleaning of family meals two days a week.
They are involved in their community. They volunteer at "ECHO". Echo stands for Emergency Care Help Organization. They are there every Monday and Thursday and have been doing it for seven years. Echo provides immediate relief in the form of food, clothing and household items to residents of Brandon who have experienced an emergency.
Bryan and Ryan regularly give back to the community. Ryan plays the piano and Bryan plays the harmonica for their Sunday School class. Ryan has also played the piano for the visitors of "Cracker Country" at the Florida State Fair Grounds. Bryan plays the harmonica for "Harmoniguys" at assisted living facilities every week.
They motivate each other and their teammates. They want everyone to succeed and have a never quit attitude.
For more information on Tennis For Fun, please call the Brandon Sports and Aquatic Center at (813) 689-0908 or visit www.tennisforfun.org.