Sound Tennis Sussex host their first visually impaired tennis tournament – thanks to Pavilion & Avenue

Sound Tennis Sussex is  made up of a group of individuals with varying degrees of sight impairment. At Pavilion & Avenue we are delighted to welcome the group to practice and play matches. This is their latest report from a tournament they organised locally.

 

Sound Tennis Sussex hosted their first regional Visually Impaired Tennis Tournament on 2-3 June 2018 at Virgin Active in Falmer.

The Tournament is part of a series hosted around the UK leading up to national championships at Loughborough in October.

We were pleased to welcome 34 players from around the country including 4 players who had been victorious at the world championships in Dublin in April.

The turnout also includes 9 players from the North East whose commitment included a 10 hour mini bus trip each way which saw them arriving home at 4 am the following morning! The spread of the sport was also shown with a player coming from Germany.

Players competed in singles and doubles competitions by sight classifications based on sight levels with 10 totally blind (B1) players, the standard continues to rise and it was great to welcome a number of players to their first ever tournaments.

Sussex players achieved a number of successes. World Champion Chris Baily from Uckfield winning the doubles with Callum Lock from Eastbourne and becoming

runner up to his arch rival Paul Ryb from London (a fellow World Champion) in the B3 singles

Christopher Smith from Eastbourne competing in his first competition had notable success as runner up in the B2 singles, Christine Laurence from Hove in the B3 ladies singles and Keith Turner in the B1 mixed doubles with Monica Smith from London were also runners up

It was good also to have Cyril Thomas from Brighton competing as a B2 in his first competition

Organising a competition on this scale is quite an undertaking and great credit goes to all the organising team and the best part of 30 volunteers whose help on and off court was fantastic, we were also privileged to have officials provided by the Tennis Foundation whose professionalism and generosity was very much appreciated

The staff at Virgin Active were also great and supported the event with warmth and efficiency

The VI Tournament circuit now moves on to Cambridge at the end of July and we are starting to think about next year. It was a brilliant event played in a very friendly and competitive manner, as organiser I learnt a lot as not everything worked perfectly but it was a real privilege and one I will remember for a long time.

We are always keen to welcome new Visually Impaired Players, if you know of anyone who might be interested please contact us at soundtennissussex@gmail.com or visit our website www.soundtennissussex.org.uk. We plan to be at the Pav & Av open day in July and would

love to see you there and give you a chance to try out tennis with sim specs that give an opportunity to see what it is like playing with different sight conditions or with no sight.