Inclusive Tennis

Norfolk Tennis supports a continually developing programme of inclusive/disability tennis, to as broad and diverse audience as possible. This is possible because of the extremely close and supportive working relationships with Norfolk LTA and LTA Open Court.

Please contact Kathy Lofthouse at inclusivetennis@norfolktennis.org for any information you may require.

The LTA website is also a useful site for general information.


Tennis Able is based in Norwich at the East Anglia Tennis & Squash Club. The LTA Disability Club of the Year 2018 is a very successful coaching organisation specialising in providing coaching and playing opportunities for people of all ages and abilities. Tennis Able won the LTA Norfolk Disability Award for 2021 and 2022, and also was voted the winner of the LTA East and Central Region Disability Award for 2021. 

One volunteer was the LTA Young Person of the Year 2022 and another the LTA Norfolk Rising Star for 2022. Current coaching programmes include Special Olympics, Wheelchair, Headway Gorleston, Visual Impairment and several local Special schools, mental health plus individual coaching. The Tennis Able website and Facebook page are very informative.

Easton Tennis Centre, located on the campus of Easton College, is an LTA Centre of Excellence for Wheelchair Tennis. The centre runs weekly junior wheelchair tennis sessions lead by Chris Lambert who is an LTA level 3 accredited tennis coach and the wheelchair lead coach at Easton.

These sessions give players the opportunity to try tennis in a fun and inclusive environment for both for new and existing players, whether they just want to play the game or are trying to aspire to be the next wheelchair tennis champion. From the weekly sessions here it can lead into opportunities to join the LTA player performance pathway and attend regional/national camps as well as competitions. Please contact eastontennis@ccn.ac.uk.


Norfolk venues with inclusive programmes are:

Easton Tennis Centre – LTA Performance wheelchair tennis hub
Cringleford Tennis Club – working with one local Special School
Cromer Lawn Tennis & Squash Club – adult learning disability group
East Anglia Tennis & Squash Club - award-winning specialist coaching 
Gorleston Tennis Club – walking tennis and a mental health/well being group
Loddon Tennis Club – health and well-being and walking tennis
North Elmham Tennis Club – two learning disability & visually impaired groups per week (teenager and adult), plus support of underprivileged children in local community

Learn More About: Different Impairment Groups & Competition Pathways


WHEELCHAIR TENNIS

Talent Spot
Getting Started One of the fastest growing wheelchair sports in the world, wheelchair tennis integrates very easily with the non-disabled game since it can be played on any regular tennis court, with no modifications to rackets or balls.

Wheelchair tennis players are allowed two bounces of the ball and can easily play against other wheelchair tennis players, as well as alongside or against non-disabled friends and family.

One of the biggest myths about wheelchair tennis is that you have to use a chair in your everyday life in order to be eligible to play. In actual fact, the game is open to anyone with a physical disability including, but by no means limited to, spinal injuries, spina bifida, limb loss, hyper mobility and cerebral palsy.

Have you been inspired by our elite wheelchair tennis players? Maybe you saw them at Major Events, such as Wimbledon and aspire to represent Great Britain at Major Events and become a future Grand Slam and/ or Paralympic Champion?

The LTA are delivering five wheelchair initiatives with the ambition of finding, developing, and supporting the next generation of wheelchair tennis stars. Our aim is to provide inspirational experiences and showcase the amazing benefits our sport has to offer from grassroots development to elite performance. 


VISUALLY IMPAIRED TENNIS
Visually impaired tennis is one of the newest versions of the game and is played on a smaller tennis court using smaller rackets, an audible ball and raised lines.

Players who are totally blind are allowed three bounces while partially sighted players are allowed two bounces. Tape can be put on the court to create raised lines and players communicate at the start of each point to make sure their opponent is ready.

Learn More About: Learning Disability Tennis | Deaf Tennis

 

 

GEORGIA ATTENDS FIRST UK PARA STANDING EVENT AT NATIONAL TENNIS CENTRE - Sun 26th November 2023

A 2020 Norfolk Tennis Award winner, Georgia Routledge attended the first Para Standing event in the Uk held at the National Tennis Centre.

Hosted by LTA and Adam Little from the Last Leg channel 4 programme to see if they can get another disability category going.

Georgia was accompanied by coach and mentor Donna Andrews and Safeguarding Officer Rachel Fartow, from Tennis for Life. A fantastic and unforgetable day was had by all.    

Georgia shares her memories of the day:

"I met Donna + Rachel in Norwich and we left at 6:45am. We stopped briefly in Ealing for Donna to give her old secretary, Yvonne a hug. We arrived at the National Tennis centre at 9:30am. We had a coffee and met another CP participant called Nick from Northwood who has qualified as a Lvl 3 coach 6 years ago. We spoke about our journeys into tennis. Donna gave me a tour of the centre and then I had a short court warm up with Nick to test out the surface and get rid of my nerves. As we assembled on the court, Adam Hills approached me and we introduced ourselves before gong into the warm up. We warmed up in pairs with scarfs and I paired up with another Adam who had CP caused by a brain tumour. I then paired up with a girl called Jenny who was an amputee from Germany! We then split into 4 groups and did some drills, out of the 6 people on my court, we all were surprised that 5 of us were lefties! I had a hit with Adam Hills and Nicky Maxwell on the court next to Andy Murray! I had my photos taken with Andy Murray, Emma Radacanu and Olivia Nichols. We had a lunch break at 1 pm and a Q&A with Adam + Nicky. At 2:15pm we began match play. We did doubles and singles champions. We finished at 4pm and got home at 8pm. It was the best day of my life and quite possibly the most tiring! Bring on the next one! I have now signed up to play at the world championships in Turin in June and am going to sign up to the European championships in Barcelona and a tournament in Sweden."