Roan Luallen, Special Olympics Florida athlete from Pensacola, who competes in tennis singles, along with his mom, Sherryll Luallen – a nurse - and his grandparents got a dream vacation in Orlando, Florida at the unforgettable Holiday Inn Club Vacations Flagship Resort. The trip is part of Special Olympics Florida’s new “Every Family is Special” campaign that creates ways for partnering sponsors and fans of Special Olympics Florida to give, support and impact Florida athletes and their family in unique and exciting ways. The campaign celebrates the diversity of the families it serves. The campaign aims to both raise awareness of the unique challenges its families experience along with the incredible joy of raising a child with different abilities.
In middle school, Roan initially had no interest in any sports and preferred being alone. He was introduced to tennis by an adaptive P.E. teacher, who also served as a Special Olympics Florida coach, and after some encouragement from home and school, he found a new passion in the sport. In a short period of time, Roan progressed into a top athlete, earning a Silver medal in his first year of competition. Sherryll credits tennis and Special Olympics Florida for helping Roan grow his self-confidence, make new friends and gain important life skills.
During Roan’s stay at the resort, he got an exclusive private training session with former tennis pro Ernie Fink at the resort’s tennis complex to help prepare him for the weekend’s 2021 State Tennis Championships.
Here's a video that my friends from Special Olympics Florida sent me highlighting Roan's trip! Good luck at States, Roan!