Diversity Tennis

Wheelchair tennis participants manouvering around cones

Whilst the prevailing view of wheelchair tennis is seeing incredible athletes such as Alfie Hewitt and Lucy Shuker flying around the courts at Wimbledon, the view is slightly different at the Hive Leisure Centre in Ely on a Friday 1-2pm.

Most wheelchair tennis is performance based, with a view to building up to competition. At Diversity Tennis, though, our motivation is slightly different. Our Walking Tennis programme – now a year old – has been fantastically well supported, and has hugely benefited lots of people (injured; elderly; long term medical conditions; mental health etc), boosting their fitness, and improving their conditions.

However, for some, disease progression or circumstances have made even Walking Tennis increasingly difficult. We have been hugely lucky in being able to get 6 tennis wheelchairs – through a combination of long term loans (thank you Papworth Tennis Club!), grant funding (thank you Thomas Parsons!) and the GoFundMe we set up in June. Our goal is to make sure that anyone who wants to can still join in with the Walking Tennis sessions which have - according to them -  enriched and enhanced their lives. Our goal in the first 6 weeks is to give them the skills to be able to join fully with their standing partners. 

Friday 3rd November 2023 saw the first session – where we focused on movement of the chair – so maneuvering in and out of the cones, first slowly and then as fast and as tight as possible.

Getting the grip on the racket right and moving the chair with racket in hand was a definite challenge to start with! Everyone managed it eventually.

Moving to the net - and hitting groundstrokes required a change of mindset – the need to move the chair and not just the arms.

Next week – the inverse backhand.

Wheelchair tennis participants manouvering around cones

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