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Roy Turnham in action during the LTA Visually Impaired National Finals at Wrexham Tennis Centre on November 20, 2021 in Wrexham, Wales.
Diversity and inclusion

One of a kind tennis-specific visual impairment course launched to support tennis coaches across Britain


A new course has been launched to help tennis coaches play their role in boosting the number of blind and partially sighted people participating in sport.

We have partnered with the leading sports charity for people with a visual impairment, British Blind Sport, and coaching charity, UK Coaching, to create a bespoke online training package to give coaches of all levels more confidence at helping those who are blind or visually impaired to pursue tennis as a hobby or career. 

Not only do these training sessions teach coaches how to include those with a visual impairment in classes with their fully sighted peers, but they also signal the importance of providing detailed commentary on their surroundings - from walking out of the changing rooms to stepping out on court. 

A first of its kind; the session explains how to identify tennis techniques that are appropriate to teach according to the differing levels of sight, and also recommends hands-on tactile demonstrations when teaching participants new warm-up or techniques, and how to track the noise of the tennis ball.

The bespoke training is complemented by generic training around visual impairment and how it affects participants, creating engaging environments and venue accessibility to name a few.

The new e-learning sessions feed into the See Sport Differently campaign that British Blind Sport has partnered with RNIB on, which shows that one in two blind and partially sighted people feel that having a visual impairment stops them from exercising as much as they would like to, with one in three saying there are sports they want to try but have been unable to.

Frankie Rohan, Workforce Officer at British Blind Sport, has worked closely with ourselves and UK Coaching on creating the four-hour training course.

Frankie herself has a severe visual impairment, and recently coached Great Britain’s B1 tennis team at the 2023 International Blind Sport Federation World Games.

The mark of a good coach is one who isn’t afraid to ask questions, can articulate well, listens, and provides challenging and engaging sessions to foster development and improvement...

She said: “As a charity that is striving to break down sporting barriers for those with a visual impairment, we know first-hand that tennis is one of the sports that blind and partially sighted people are keen to participate in, but having enough confident coaches is key to helping blind and partially sighted people take that first step out onto the court.

“So many sports coaches across various sports tell us that they do not feel confident teaching an individual with a visual impairment because they don’t want to say the wrong thing or don’t know how to integrate them into a session safely and appropriately – and this new course has a crucial role to play in changing that.

“We also want to encourage a shift in mindset that blind and partially-sighted people aren’t just there to have a nice time – they should also be given the opportunity to fulfil their potential to try and compete competitively if they so wish – and the training course informs coaches how they can go about this.

“From the perspective of someone with a visual impairment, the mark of a good coach is one who isn’t afraid to ask questions, can articulate well, listens, and provides challenging and engaging sessions to foster development and improvement – and that is what we are hoping emerges on tennis courts up and down the country over the coming months.

“It’s fantastic to have the LTA and UK Coaching supporting this initiative, and we are excited about the impact that these new training courses are going to have for both current and future generations.”


The eLearning course will come to be a clinical tool as our longstanding national scheme, the LTA Open Court Programme (OCP), continues to scale up and appreciate in popularity. 

The OCP actively promotes and delivers opportunities for disabled people to get involved in tennis, offering a wide span of disability specific sessions including learning disability tennis, wheelchair tennis, visually impaired tennis and deaf tennis.  

As we continue our push for inclusivity and accessibility, this tennis-specific visual impairment course will be used to support our coaches and workforce on a national scale. 

Matt Elkington, Disability Development Partner at the LTA, said: “We are excited to support the production of this brand new online course in partnership with British Blind Sport and UK Coaching.

“Our vision is tennis opened up and our mission is to transform communities through tennis, making it more inspiring, welcoming and enjoyable. Ensuring disabled people can access and enjoy tennis is central to this vision and reflected in our Open For All plan.

“This new online course will not only drive more coaches to take a lead on visually impaired tennis but will also see more players able to access a high-quality VI tennis sessions, no matter where they are in the UK.”

Find out how you can get involved

Learn how you can get involved in the course and learn more about coaching blind and partially sighted people in tennis.

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