Vision Norfolk Great Yarmouth hub co-ordinator Edward Bates (left) and tennis coach Mike Reynolds

Taster Sessions Offered For Vision Impaired People Wanting To Try Tennis

People living with sight loss in the Great Yarmouth area are being invited to try tennis, with a series of special sessions led by a leading regional tennis trainer.

LTA-accredited coach Mike Reynolds will be demonstrating that a vision impairment is not a barrier to getting on the court at the sessions, which are to take place at Gorleston Tennis Club on Orde Avenue in the town, in an initiative in partnership with sight loss charity Vision Norfolk.

Mr Reynolds will be assisted by one of his vision impaired protégés, who has played in national championships.

“Vision impaired tennis has been around for a number of years, and we are hoping to show that even those with serious sight loss can take part in the sport,” said Mr Reynolds.

“We use special tennis balls, some of which have beads or bells in them so that they make a noise as they move.  For those with a little more sight, we use larger than normal balls which are designed to travel more slowly through the air.”

Depending on the level of their vision impairment, players are allowed to let the ball bounce twice or even three times before hitting it to enable them to gauge where it is on the court.

Vision Norfolk Great Yarmouth hub co-ordinator Edward Bates, who has been totally blind since birth, took to the courts with Mr Reynolds to prove that everyone can take part in the sport.

“I have played blind cricket, but have never attempted tennis,” said Mr Bates.  “There is a real satisfaction in hitting a ball, and I would definitely recommend this as an activity, whatever the extent of your sight loss.”

A taster session will take place on Tuesday 23rd April at 10.30am at Gorleston Tennis Club.  Places are free for this taster session, and must be booked in advance.  For more details, contact Vision Norfolk’s Great Yarmouth hub on 01493 745973 or by emailing [email protected].

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