Tennis is a sport anyone can play regardless of age or abilities. However, for individuals with disabilities (or as we see it – individuals with different abilities) there are unfortunately many more barriers and challenges they have to face to get to even try our wonderful game, let alone play it on a regular basis.
Here at Tennis Academy Perth, we have a goal that we hold dear in our hearts – a goal to establish a long-term, fun and sustainable adaptive and inclusive tennis program that removes as many barriers to the game as possible and truly provide everyone with the opportunity to try the game of tennis.
Our long-term vision in this space involves more than just us. The vision features a world where tennis clubs and coaches throughout not just Perth but Western Australia offer programs for people with different abilities so they can enjoy the game close to home instead of having to drive a long way to somewhere that offers the program. It’s a vision where people with different abilities know that regardless of their abilities, they do get the same opportunity to play the game as others do and one where tennis is truly an inclusive sport at all levels.
Tennis Academy Perth currently runs free wheelchair tennis program which we see as a small but important step to making our inclusive tennis vision a reality.
We run free wheelchair tennis coaching sessions on Wednesday mornings at 10am and on some Saturday morning at Manning Tennis Club where we have the privilege of working with our inspiring participants.
These sessions act as a regular ‘come and try’ day for those interested in trying the sport as well as coaching sessions complete with training drills to improve participation’ playing ability.
Since our first official coaching session in early 2020, we’ve sought to enhance the quality of our coaching program through research and on-court learning, tailoring drills to different players. Pleasingly, we’ve seen our participation numbers grow with players of different ages and different abilities now involved.
Our short experience has increased our awareness of how expensive equipment, like sports wheelchairs are, recognising the huge barrier they present to people who want to try the game. To address this, together with Manning Tennis Club, we’ve worked closely with Tennis West to lease four sports wheelchairs (3 adult and 1 junior) which players can borrow for use during these sessions.
If you are an existing wheelchair tennis player or never played before but would like to try, please get in touch with us or Manning Tennis Club so we can work with you to ensure you get to try the game. We also welcome players who have injuries requiring them to stay off their feet.