Visually impaired National Finals to be held in Wrexham this weekend
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Wrexham will host the LTA’s Visually Impaired National Finals this weekend, which runs from Friday 19 to Sunday 21 November.
Thirty eight players, from across the country are set to compete at Wrexham Tennis Centre, with Steven Pilcher (Suffolk) the tournament referee. The Grade 7 event will be contested over three days, comprising of events for men and women in both singles and doubles.
Top seeds in singles events include 2019 defending champions Roy Turnham (B1 Men), Monica Smith (B1 Ladies), and Ivan Rodriguez-Deb (B4/5 Men). Other notable players taking Part include Rachel Morgan (B1 Ladies) who won the 2019 Visually Impaired International in the B1 Ladies singles division, as well as Daniel Hopkins (B2 Men) and Neil Balmforth (B3 Men).
Match schedules can be found here.
Many of the players involved in the tournament have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic with much reduced activity levels, so events such as the National Finals is leading the way in helping them get back being active and competing.
QUICK FACTS: Visually Impaired Tennis
- One of the fastest growing disability sports
- Ambitions for it to become a future Paralympic sport
- Adapted from the full court version of tennis to a smaller court, marked out with lower nets and tactile lines
- Uses an audible ball so players can hear it bounce
- Players compete in different categories, from B1 to B5, with B1 category having the greatest degree of sight loss
- Depending on a player’s category they are allowed between one and three bounces of the ball
- VI tennis is an incredibly social sport to get involved in, from training to competitions for beginners to regular players
- The LTA supports a range of local, regional and national competitions for blind or partially sighted people of any ability, as well as a GB international team, with Great Britain being one of the most successful nations in the world
Visually Impaired tennis is part of the LTA’s Open Court programme, which is one of the biggest disability-specific sports development programmes in the country. The programme is delivered at a local level made up of a collaboration of key partners actively promoting and delivering opportunities for disables people to get involved in tennis through a customer focused approach. To find out more about the Open Court programme and Visually Impaired tennis, please click here.