Date: Thursday 05 October 2017
A tennis competition for blind and visually-impaired players received a welcome donation – served with lots of love – from our Midlands business unit.
We gave £1,000 to Edgbaston Priory Club in Birmingham, near our Highfield Gardens II development, to go towards the cost of hosting its third annual Visually Impaired Regional Tennis Tournament.
Around 30 male and female players from across the UK gathered for the amateur contest on Sunday 17th September, and with a recent surge in the sport’s popularity, that number is expected to rise continuously year-on-year.
“Visually-impaired tennis is one of the fastest-growing blind sports in the UK,” explains Simon Lancaster, Lead Coach for Lordswood and Circle Tennis Clubs. “Along with Japan, we lead the other 30 or so countries that participate in the sport.
“There are increasing opportunities for visually-impaired sports people and this tournament attracts players from all over the country.”
Visually-impaired tennis is played either on a badminton court or on the service courts of a standard tennis court with shorter rackets and a specially-adapted sponge ball that has a noise-making device inside.
The ball is allowed to bounce up to three times before a totally blind player must hit it and twice before a partially-sighted player must hit it. Fully-sighted players may not volley balls to blind or partially-sighted opponents, and partially-sighted players cannot volley to blind opponents.
“The money from Taylor Wimpey was a great help and went towards buying the balls for the tournament,” Simon continues. “These cost £7 each, so you can appreciate how expensive putting on a competition like this can be.
“We do receive financial aid from the Tennis Foundation, which supports inclusive tennis, but given all the costs that go into the tournament, the donation from Taylor Wimpey really did make a big difference and we are hopeful that their help in raising the profile of the sport will boost the number of players we attract next year.
“To anyone who is blind or visually impaired and would like to get involved in the sport, I would say this – tennis is for everyone. Regardless of their sight, people should be encouraged to pursue their dreams and should never feel like they can’t achieve them. Bringing people together and making them realise their potential is what tennis is all about.”
A range of one-bedroom apartments is currently on sale at Highfield Gardens II.