Great Britain Disability National Teams

Visually impaired international tennis event

We support programmes for three disability groups; Learning Disability, Deaf and Visually Impaired Tennis.

We want to nurture players with talent and the will to win so they can fulfil their potential. If an individual shows talent they should be identified by their local coach and referred to us by contacting disabilitytennis@lta.org.uk. Following assessment we will recommend the best route for player development: this may be to join our development squads, or it could lead to individuals representing Great Britain as part of our GB National Team.

All three programmes are for talented players to develop their skills in a performance environment leading to potential selection onto our GB National Teams. Our programmes include professional coaching, personal development, camps and more. Selected GB players get the opportunity to compete internationally at annual events, representing Great Britain at World Championships, European Championships, Deaflympics and Global Games.

2020 Event Calendar:

  • 7-14 June - International Blind Tennis Tournament, Italy (Visually Impaired)
  • 18-26 July - Virtus World Tennis Championships, Belgium (Learning Disability)
  • 24 July - Deaf European Tennis Championships, Hamburg Germany (Deaf)

Deaf Programme Deaf Programme addremove

Esah Hayat

Lives: Finchley, London
Plays: Right-handed

Esah started playing tennis when he was eight years old and first learnt about deaf tennis through the North London DeaVif Children’s Society in 2013. He subsequently attended a deaf tennis camp at Gosling Tennis Centre, and since then his deaf tennis career has flourished. Esah has gone on to represent Great Britain at the Deaf World Championships and the Deaf European Championships winning gold and silver medals on the world stage. Esah regularly competes in LTA sanctioned events and his sporting hero is Andy Murray.

Phoebe Suthers

Lives: Elland, West Yorkshire
Plays: Right-handed

Phoebe took up tennis aged eight and started playing deaf tennis in 2013 after attending a camp.  She competed in her first National Championships later that year. She now trains four times a week, including county training for Yorkshire. Phoebe joined the Deaf Tennis Programme in 2015 and has since competed in major international deaf tennis events, including World and European Championships. She has achieved Gold and Silver medals at world level and is the current holder of the Solvenia Open Womens singles and Doubles title.

Lewis Fletcher

Lives: Burderop, Wiltshire
Plays: Left-handed

Lewis started playing tennis aged 14. As a junior he competed in numerous tournaments around the country including British Tour events. He joined the Deaf Tennis Programme in 2001, aged 16. From the age of 17 he opted to play full time tennis with the PTR academy in London and went on to represent Great Britain in numerous international Deaf tennis events including winning silver medals at the Dresse Cup, competing in Deaflympics, European Championships and World Championships. Lewis has built a successful coaching career alongside is playing career and he is currently joint head coach at Ramsbury Tennis Club in Wiltshire.

Toby Clifton

Lives: Purley, Surrey
Plays: Right-handed

Toby was inspired to start playing deaf tennis by his brother Jack. Toby joined the Deaf Tennis Programme in 2015. He first represented Great Britain at the Deaf Youth Cup in Hamburg in 2014 and has since represented his country at the 1st World Deaf Tennis Championships in Nottingham in 2015 and the European Deaf Tennis Championships in Slovenia in 2016 where he secures a doubles silver medal. He made his Deaflympics debut in Samsun, Turkey in 2017.

Valerie Copenhagen

Lives: Ruislip, Uxbridge
Plays: Right-Handed

Valerie joined her local tennis club when she was 11 years old playing as part of the junior squad. She heard about Deaf tennis five years ago and after attending a talent ID day at National Tennis Centre, she was invited to join training camps and be part of the Deaf Programme. Since joining the squad she has played at World Championships, European championships and most recently Dresse Marre Cup in Turkey in 2018. Her greatest achievements include being selected for the GB team and getting through to the second round at the World Deaf Tennis Championships in 2016. Valerie works full time as Head of Participation at UK Deaf Sport and has a great passion for sport and volunteering. She is grateful for the opportunities she has been given whilst being on the National team and is determined to work hard and aspire to win a medal one in the near future.

Learning Disability Programme Learning Disability Programme addremove

Dominic Iannotti

Lives:  Prestwick, Scotland
Plays:  Right handed

Dominic started playing tennis aged ten and he joined the Learning Disability Tennis Programme in 2015.  He made his international debut at the 2015 INAS Global Games in Ecuador.  Dominic is also a full time coach running his own successful disability tennis programme, inspiring the next generation of players. Dominic’s ultimate tennis ambition is to become a role model and to encourage people to play tennis. His greatest achievements include being the champion at the 2018 National Learning Disability Tennis Championships and securing multiple Gold and silver medals at INAS World Championships and Global Games. In 2020 Dominic offically became no.1 in the world after securing gold at the Global Games in Brisbane, Australia. 

Oliver Beadle

Lives: Home Town Upminster
Plays: Right handed

Oliver started playing tennis at the age of seven when he joined a local tennis club with his older brother.  Oliver’s sporting hero is Andy Murray and his aim is to represent his country as one of the top 10 Learning Disability players in the world. Oliver first attended a learning disability training camp at Wrexham when he was 12.  His greatest’s achievements to date would be representing Team GB in the Special Olympic World Games in Los Angeles in summer 2015, winning gold medals in both the men’s singles and mixed doubles as well as being crowned Men’s National champion in 2016 and doubles champion in 2017. Oliver was selected to represent his country for the first time at the 2020 Global Games where he secured a silver medal in the Men's Team Event. 

Luke Turnbull

Lives: Home Town Milngavie, moved to North Berwick
Plays: Right handed

Luke started playing tennis at the age of three when his Mum introduced him to the sport by sitting him in his baby chair at the side of the court. As soon as he could walk, he wanted to play. When he’s not playing tennis he enjoys playing football and plays for North Berwick Colts. Luke made his international debut at the 2018 INAS World and European championships where he secured a Bronze and Silver medal in the doubles events.

Michael Hartnett

Lives: Worthing, Sussex, trains in Suffolk 
Plays: Right handed 

Michael started playing tennis 5 years ago after taking part on a school trip to the local tennis club and instantly fell in love with the sport. He started competing in LTA events shortly after and at 14 began training in a performance squad at his local centre. After being introduced to learning disability tennis he started competing in regional events and joined the Learning Disability programme in 2018. Michael’s greatest achievements to date include winning the Junior Outstanding Achievement award at the LTA Sussex County Tennis Awards 2018, winning two gold medals at the Sheffield Special Olympics National Summer Games 2017and reaching the 3rd round of the Road to Wimbledon tournament in 2016. Michael’s next goal is to represent Great Britain and go on to achieve a ranking of top 10 in the INAS world rankings, being a positive role model for up and coming junior players. 

Aidan Moody

Lives: Glasgow, Scotland
Plays: Left handed 

Aidan started playing tennis after watching Andy Murray win the US Open title in 2012. The same year his local tennis club delivered a taster session at his primary school and the coach encouraged him to join the local club. Aidan has been playing ever since. He became involved in Learning Disability tennis in 2017 and showed talent as a member of the LD GB Development Squad. His greatest achievements include winning various gold medals at regional learning disability tournaments and winning his U18 Club Championships. Now as part of the LD GB National squad Aidan’s goal is to represent Great Britain internationally. 

Ronan Cacace

Lives: Glasgow, Scotland
Plays: Right handed 

Ronan started playing tennis at his local courts in Torrance when a good friend invited him to have a hit, from then he fell in love with the sport. He started watching and was inspired by Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal playing style. Ronan has been a member of the LD GB Development squad for a few years, and in 2020 was overjoyed to hear he was selected to join the LD GB National squad, a testament to his hard work. As well as this selection another great achievement was representing the West of Scotland at the Special Olympics at Sheffield in 2017 which he described as an experience that he will never forget. Ronan’s goals for the future are to hopefully represent the GB team and progress as a player and a person. 

Joshua Kerr

Lives: Ammanford, Wales
Plays: Right handed

Joshua started playing tennis as a young boy and has a passion for training and competing. He has been involved in learning disability tennis for a number of years, competing monthly in the LD regional series and national competitions and was part of the LD GB Development Squad. Joshua’s greatest achievement to date is being selected onto the LD GB National Squad, where he will have the chance to develop his tennis even further. His future goals are to represent his country as part of the GB team at an international event, and to medal. He wants to keep on improving is game and see where it takes him.

View the Learning Disability Selection Policy.

Visually Impaired Programme Visually Impaired Programme addremove

Our visually impaired tennis team have had great success over the past few years. The first World Championships for VI tennis were hosted by Spain in 2017 and they have grown ever since.

2018: Blind world Tennis championships Dublin 

The GB team consisting of Nikhill Nair, James Currie, Paul Ryb, Chris Baily, Rosine Pybus, Rachel Morgan, Amanda Large and Jan Reynolds achieved six gold medals and one silver medal.

2019: Blind World Tennis Championships Benidorm, Spain

The GB team consisting of: Rachel Morgan, James Currie, Paul Ryb, Amanda Large, Rosine Pybus, Sarah Fortescue, Chris Blake and Neil Fradgley achieved three gold medals, two silver medals and two bronze medals. 

2020: Blind World Tennis Championships, Piancavallo Italy

The team hope to have the same success as last year. This year’s team will be announced soon.

View the Visually Impaired GB Team Selection Policy.

View the Visually Impaired GB Squad Selection Policy