Congratulations to our first international blind tennis team!
Earlier this year, Australia sent a team to the first ever international tennis tournament for players who are blind or vision impaired. Held in Spain, the tournament saw teams from 14 countries compete in a range of grades. The Australian representative team included Chris Cypreou, Adam Fayad, Michael Fogarty, Sandra Knight, Genamarie Richards and were supported by a wonderful team of volunteers.
Raised tactile lines were used as navigational markers to assist the athletes to recognize their position on the court. The balls used are audible and emit a sound when played. Players use their heightened sense of hearing and spatial awareness to track and hit audible tennis balls.Players and volunteers were thrilled at the opportunity to attend the event, including blind tennis player Genamarie Richards “What an amazing trip, what a tournament, what an experience! A big thank you to our coaching team and the volunteer guides who came to the tournament to assist us.”
The Australian team was supported by Blind Sports and Recreation Victoria, Tennis Australia, Tennis Victoria and Vision Australia . Although Australia didn’t win the overall grades, the team represented Australia proudly and were awarded the tournament’s Best Fair Play award. The players have now increased their competitive training, determined to work harder and get greater results at the next tournament.
Blind Sports and Recreation Victoria hold a social tennis program for players who are blind or vision impaired on a Friday evening at Melbourne Park’s National Tennis Centre. For more information please click here http://aaavic.org.au/node/86
There is also a junior program now available.