Open Court

Open Court programme

Our Open Court Programme is a national programme funded by Sport England and the LTA, which is delivered at a local level made up of; a collaboration of key partners actively promoting and delivering opportunities for disabled people to get involved in tennis through a customer focused approach. The main option provided is disability specific sessions such as; learning disability tennis, wheelchair tennis, visually impaired tennis and deaf tennis. However, as a sport we are also expanding our offer into other long term health conditions such as Mental Health and Dementia.

Our programme is a vehicle for improving mental and physical health as it aims to increase opportunities to play, socialise and compete with similar people in the sport. We work with various tennis venues to put on tennis activities for a range of impairments as well working to towards.

Who does it support? 

We support people in clubs, parks, community and education landscape as well as everyone involved in tennis, including coaches with a similar interest and who shares the LTA’s vision that ensures our sport is opened up to people from all backgrounds, including disability.

Our offer to tennis venues

We have developed a package of equipment and support that will enable venues to increase opportunities for disabled people to get involved in tennis through being a part of our Open Court programme, this includes:

  • Provision of an adaptive equipment bag with rackets, balls, net and range of equipment to make tennis more adaptable & fun (worth £350).
  • ‘Flying visits’ with your coaches, volunteers and venue staff by disability development experts, providing disability awareness training so that they may assess their accessibility and inclusion offer.
  • Funding support to cover start-up costs and get your activities up and running so that you have time to make them sustainable in the long term.
  • Support with marketing and communications enabling you to effectively communicate with your local disability community.
  • Invitation to networking events.
  • Access to our specialist Disability Development Partners as ongoing support to help overcome any barriers you may face in your quest to be more inclusive.

Your commitment

To be part of our Open Court Programme your organisation/venue needs to commit to the following for 12 months (ideally Jan – Dec):

  • Engage with your local and county wide disability groups and organisations to promote your offer and attract participants to your venue.
  • Deliver regular, high quality, disability specific tennis sessions on a weekly and/or monthly basis.
  • Engage participants who have a disability; specifically people U35, women and girls, BAME groups and those who have a learning disability, a physical disability and a mental health problem.
  • Complete the required monitoring and evaluation (which is only three times a year) and partake in any research studies connected with the LTA (a maximum of two per year).

What do I do next?

If you decide that your venues would like to be part of the Open Court disability tennis programme and give disabled people more choices on how to be involved in tennis, please email us at disabilitytennis@lta.org.uk. Our service is bespoke to individual needs so we will work up a plan that works for you at a pace you can deliver.