Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre hosted the final Ticket2Tokyo Wheelchair Tennis on Sunday 18 October, a festival that gave 15 players a chance to try the sport out for free and for some to take their first steps towards representing the UK at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo.
Organised by the Tennis Foundation, this was the latest in a series of events that aimed to attract players of all abilities. Yesterday’s event saw fifteen people across a range of ages come from as far afield as Salisbury. For some it was a great way to get a taste of the sport in a social environment, while for the younger players it’s the first step on an ambitious path.
Those who showed potential on the day will be invited on to the next stage of the Ticket2Tokyo programme – a number of development camps which will take place over the next two months.
Lead coach on the day, David Vellala, said: “It’s essential to have events like this, specifically for the Ticket2Tokyo. It’s a good lead up for the 2020 Paralympic Games, mainly for the juniors, but it didn’t preclude others from coming along. It’s a way of drawing people in, giving them a really good experience and hopefully they’ll want to stick with it.
“The turnout alone – which I wasn’t expecting – is pretty massive for this centre. There was a lot of good feeling on the court and even the people who’d come for the first time seemed to really enjoy the experience.”
Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre has wheelchair tennis sessions for players of all abilities every Thursday night between 18:00 and 20:00 on the indoor tennis courts that are the same standard as those used in the US Open.
These sessions are supported by the Tennis Foundation and Lawn Tennis Association and led by expert coaches. All equipment is provided including sports chairs, racquets and tennis balls.
Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre runs monthly Visually Impaired tennis camps, weekly learning disability tennis sessions in addition to tennis coaching for all ages and abilities.
To find out more information about Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre call 0300 003 0614 or visit www.visitleevalley.org.uk/hockeytennis
For more information about the Ticket2Toyko events visit: www.ticket2tokyo.com