Metro Blind Sport have concluded their QCF funded visually impaired tennis sessions. Over 12 weeks over 30 blind and partially players attended regular bi-weekly coaching sessions led by LTA Development Coach of the year Mark Bullock.
These brilliant sessions brought together players from different backgrounds and different age groups, creating new friendships. Covid-19 had a significant impact on the lives of visually impaired people, resulting in many of them feeling isolated and alone. Aside from the physical benefits playing tennis offers, these sessions provided a huge benefit to people’s mental well-being.
“It felt so good to be back on court playing tennis after lockdown, I found myself a bit out of breath and a bit heavy on my feet, but it was amazing to meet up with all my fellow players and find that everyone was safe and well, I realised just how much I had missed everyone!”
Odette Battarel, participant
“It has been great to get back on court with the visually impaired players & see their tennis skills develop and the social connections re-established.”
Mark Bullock, Lead Coach
A key indicator of the success of this project has been the high percentage of participants who have attended more than half the sessions (over 90%), and the number of people (almost 50%) who have gone on to compete in their first regional tournament. As a sport that is growing and becoming more popular it was brilliant to see 6 complete beginners making their first introduction to visually impaired tennis at these sessions.
QCF are supportive of making sport inclusive for all, and therefore have been extremely proud to have supported Metro Blind Sports. Supporting this project has grown awareness of our work within the visually impaired community. The benefit of this has been that two of the leading players in VI tennis, Ivan Rodriguez and Ewan Hayward, became aware of the support QCF offered to talented young players and now are both part of our Talented Player Pathway.
QCF wish Metro Blind Sport all the best for the their future sessions, and hope they continue to make a big impact on the community.