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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

On the back of several successful junior (18 and under) VI tennis events, the Tennis Foundation is delighted to announce the following for 2018:

Festivals

The Tennis Foundation is planning to host three Junior VI Tennis Festivals in 2018. The Festivals are open to children and young people of any ability who are blind or partially sighted. Players who have not attended a Tennis Foundation festival before will receive a FREE racket. Festivals are £10 per person.

Click here to book a place on a Festival.

North: 18 March 2018 – David Lloyd York, Yorkshire

South: 7 July 2018 – National Tennis Centre, London

Midlands: TBC (most likely in September) – Loughborough University Tennis Centre, Leicestershire

Competitions

The Tennis Foundation will have junior categories at the below VI Tennis Competitions. For more information please contact Kirsty Thomson (Kirsty.Thomson@tennisfoundation.org.uk).

York Visually Impaired Regional Tennis Tournament: 12 August 2018 – David Lloyd York, Yorkshire

London Visually Impaired Regional Tennis Tournament: 9 September 2018 – National Tennis Centre, London

National Visually Impaired Tennis Championships: Date TBC (October most likely) – Venue TBC

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 are our way to recognise and reward significant contribution to the development of the game and the people who play it!

2017 Winners

  • Coach of the Year – Matt Jackman (Tennis World, Middlesbrough)
  • Volunteer of the Year – David Donnelly
  • Contribution Award – Fiona Musgrove
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 Tournament Report
 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/Rosie Pybus 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