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Visually impaired tennis

Visually impaired tennis

There are more opportunities for people who are blind or partially sighted to play tennis than ever before. And we’re delighted to say, more and more people are taking it up.

The visually impaired (VI) version of the game is played on a smaller court than usual, with a lower net. We also use an audible ball so you can hear it bounce. Depending on your sight, you’re allowed up to three bounces before returning.

Give it a go. You’ll find it’s great fun and there’s a really good social side too. To find a session near you visit our find your local session interactive map or click here for a list of sessions in an accessible document.

To find out more information about VI tennis, how you can get involved, sight classifications, rules of the game and coaching guidance please read our Guide to Visually Impaired Tennis (for an accessible version please click here).

Junior VI Tennis Festival

The Tennis Foundation are delighted to announce that they will be hosting a Junior VI Tennis Festival for young people aged 18 and under. The Festival will take place on Saturday 23rd September 11am-4pm at Loughborough University Tennis Centre and is open to young people of any ability who are blind or partially sighted. The Festival will be delivered by coaches who are experienced in VI tennis and we guarantee all participants will be hitting balls by the end of the festival!

The Festival costs just £10 and each player that books in advance will receive a free tennis racket to take home. Parents and siblings can also get involved and try tennis at the same time.

Click here to book a place on the Festival.

VI Awards

These awards are in their third year and we are grateful for the support from the VI Advisory Group and volunteers in making this happen. The awards is our way to recognise and reward significant contribution to the development of the game and the people who play it so please do nominate anyone you feel have supported you in Coaching, Volunteering or general excellent Contribution!

To nominate you can:

The closing date for all nominations is the 15th September and the VI Awards will be presented at the VI Nationals in Loughborough on the 7th Oct.

British Blind Sport Have a Go Days

The Tennis Foundation is delivering tennis taster sessions at the majority of the British Blind Sport Have a Go Days. If you are looking to try tennis then why not head to your nearest Have a Go Day (information can be found online here).

Camps

Visually impaired tennis clubs around the country will be hosting camps throughout the year. The camps are a great way to develop your tennis in a fun and sociable environment.

Come and compete

The Tennis Foundation runs an array of VI tennis tournaments for blind and partially sighted players of all abilities, junior and senior.  The Regional Visually Impaired Tennis Tournaments are hosted across the UK with the National Visually Impaired Tennis Championships taking place in October. Details on 2017 tournaments can be found below. Come and compete

Date Event Location How to enter
 26 August Visually Impaired Regional Tennis Tournament Sutton Sports Academy, Sutton Online entry form
 17 September Visually Impaired Regional Tennis Tournament Edgbaston Priory Tennis Club, Birmingham Online entry form
 6-8 October National Visually Impaired Tennis Championships Dan Maskell Tennis Centre, Loughborough University Online entry form

International Tournament

The Tennis Foundation supported a GB team which competed at the first Blind Tennis International Tournament in Spain in May 2017. For more information on the tournament please visit http://ibta-takei.com/blind-tennis-international-tournament-spain-2017.  The GB team of six players was announced in April (see Team Announcement), and you can see how they got on by clicking here – including finding out which of the team won their classification to become the first ever World Number 1!

Visually Impaired Tennis Advisory Group

The  Advisory Group, consisting of various stakeholders involved in the sport, aims to support the development of VI tennis within the UK. The Group meet 3-4 times a year to discuss matters including rules/regulations, competitions, classifications and international engagement.

Meetings

Group Members

  • Representatives from the Tennis Foundation
  • Representatives from British Blind Sport (visit www.britishblindsport.org.uk for more information)
  • Representative from International Blind Tennis Association – Amanda Green (visit www.ibta-takei.com for more information).
  • Representative from the South region – Amanda Green from Metro Blind Sports (visit www.metroblindsport.org for more information). Metro Blind Sport, at times, have a stock of the Japanese VI tennis ball if you require any.
  • Representative from the North region – Steve Trewick from North East Visually Impaired Tennis Club (visit www.nevitc.org.uk for more information)
  • Representative from the East and Midlands region – Fiona Musgrove from Vision4Growth (visit www.vision4growth.org.uk for more information). Vision4Growth, at times, have a stock of the Japanese VI tennis ball if you require any.
  • Coaching representatives – Andy Crockett and David Vellala
  • B1 player representative – Roy Turnham
Fast track for talent

If you’ve got the talent to progress from playing for fun to competing at the highest level the Game On guide is for you. It gives you the lowdown on the different pathways you can follow to reach the summit of the sport. Please click here for an accessible version of the Game On guide.

Game On (Great Britain's Disability Tennis Pathway) - Tennis Foundation