No, I'm serious. Want to play tennis? Read on and you'll find out the somewhat newest sport gaining interest around the globe.
Yes, I know, tennis has been around for years, but have you heard of blind tennis? Aha, I didn't think so. With just a few simple modifications, the game of tennis becomes accessible to blind participants. But first, a bit of history.
Taken from the Tennis Foundation Page:
Beginning of quote:
Evolution of Blind & VI Tennis
Tennis for blind and visually impaired players originated in Japan in the 1980s before the first national tournament took place in 1990. A Japanese delegation
came to London in 2007 to actively promote and develop the sport internationally which included the inventor of the sport, Miyoshi Takei.
Miyoshi lost his sight through cancer when he was 18 months old. He was totally blind and as a high school student he decided he wanted to play tennis and
sought the help of his teacher Ayako to help develop the sport – not an easy feat considering a blind person can only imagine how tennis is played in the
first instance, having never actually seen the game.
The Tennis Foundation travelled to Japan in April 2010 to meet Miyoshi and Ayako, accompanied by three members of the Metro Sports Club for the Blind. Miyoshi
sadly passed away in early 2011 but his legacy will live on with the continued development of blind and visually impaired tennis.
End of Quote
How does blind tennis work?
Tactile modifications: Most blind tennis is played on inside courts. the playing area is demarcated by tape with a bump which you can easily detect with your feet. The rest of the court is unmodified.
Audio Modifications: The most ingenious modification within this sport is the ball. It is comprised of a foam exterior which contains a plastic core filled with tiny ball bearings. its size is slightly bigger than a normal tennis ball and its a few grams lighter. Don't let this ball fool you however. It still makes the sport very challenging. How do I know? I actually had the opportunity to try it out earlier on this month.
How did this come about, read on.
Alan Ma, a local tennis trainer, came upon blind tennis while watching the UK based reality show - Secret Millionaire on BBC. The general idea of the show is of a millionaire who goes undercover to evaluate organizations in order to choose the best one suited for a financial donation. It just so happen that millionaire Liz Jackson was blind and spent some time with various blind organizations including the Blind Tennis club. You can read more about Liz's experience on the show by reading her interview here:
Alan was intrigued with the concept of blind tennis and started researching the idea of introducing the sport to Canada.
here's a video which captures the spirit of the sport:
Alan approached various blind organizations in order to get participants. He is presently conducting a trial run which is scheduled to last until the end of June. If all goes well, the project will be expanded and perhaps, one day, you too will be able to play blind tennis in your local area.
For more information on Blind Tennis visit the Tennis Foundation at:
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