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Participants take part during a Tennis Foundation Visually Impaired Camp at The Northumberland Club on June 19, 2022 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.
Diversity and inclusion

LTA appoints Disability Advisory Group to ensure tennis is Open For All

• 3 MINUTE READ

Meeting for the first time this week at the British Open, the creation of the LTA’s Disability Advisory Group ensures the voices of experts and lived experience are at the centre of British tennis.

Meeting for the first time this week at the Lexus British Open Roehampton, the creation of the LTA’s Disability Advisory Group ensures the voices of experts and lived experience are at the centre of British tennis.

The LTA’s Disability Advisory Group has been established to help guide and shape the future of disability tennis in Britainas laid out in our ‘Open for All’ plan launched in December 2022.

The plan sets out five key strategic objectives to continue to provide disabled people with fair and equitable opportunities to access tennis:  

  1. Continue to recover and rebuild from the pandemic  
  2. Make tennis more inclusive for disabled people  
  3. Continue to grow and improve the LTA Open Court programme 
  4. Reach new and different audiences  
  5. Continue to support the player pathway  


Six expert individuals have been appointed to the group: Caroline MacDonald (Assistant Director at the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and wheelchair tennis player), Janiece  Wallace (South Yorkshire Sight Loss Council member, South Yorkshire Visually Impaired Tennis Club Secretary and visually impaired tennis player) Matthew Chilvers (LTA Accredited Coach, Special Olympics GB Athlete Leadership Development Officer, and Learning Disability tennis player), Emily Stebbings (LTA Accredited Coach, LTA Coach Education Tutor, Suffolk Tennis Disability Tennis Coordinator), Sue Morrison (LTA Coach Education Tutor, LUSU Sports Founder and Director, sensory tennis innovator and LTA Tennis Awards ‘Disability Award Winner’ 2020), and Mark Bullock (LTA Accredited Coach, Coordinator of the wheelchair event at The Championships Wimbledon, ITF Brad Parks Award 2023 Winner, LTA Tennis Awards Development Coach of the Year 2021).

Making tennis more inclusive for disabled people sits at the heart of our vision of Tennis Opened Up. Tennis is a sport that can be easily adapted to be inclusive for all, regardless of their disability or long-term health condition, and we are proud to have a format of our sport for everyone. In 2023, 16% of annual tennis participants were disabled or have a long-term health condition, with that figure rising to 23% amongst monthly tennis participants.

The Disability Advisory Group will work strategically to build on the LTA’s success to date, including growing the LTA Open Court programme which supports nearly 600 tennis venues deliver formats of the sport including learning disability tennis, visually impaired tennis, wheelchair tennis, deaf tennis and sensory tennis. We’re also expanding LTA Open Court to support those with long-term health conditions such as mental health and Parkinson’s. In 2023 alone, 16,000 disabled people and people with long term health conditions took part in the programme.

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LTA Director of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Jon Hughes said: “Tennis has led the way in many regards when it comes to the inclusion of disabled people, from the well-established international pro wheelchair tennis tour, to grass roots tennis programmes such as LTA Open Court.

“But with one in five people in the UK being disabled, and disabled people being twice as likely to be physically inactive compared to non-disabled people, too many are still missing out from the well known physical and mental benefits of sport.

“With the creation of the LTA’s Disability Advisory Group, we will be putting lived experience and expert voices at the centre of our Open For All plan, building on the LTA’s work to make every aspect of tennis more inclusive and accessible for disabled people.”

LTA Disability Advisory Group Member, Caroline MacDonald said: “Tennis can change lives for the better with incredible physical, mental and social benefits that I have experienced first-hand. It also a sport for all, and can be easily adapted to suit different needs.  

"My aim in joining the LTA’s Disability Advisory Group is to help ensure LTA initiatives such as the Open Court Programme are successful in bringing to tennis to everyone. I want anyone who can benefit from tennis to have the same life-enhancing opportunities that I have."

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