A View From A New Player
A good friend of mine asked me to try out Blind Tennis. It took nearly 18 months of persuasion before I gave it a go. The first time I tried it out was at The Southfields venue. I had played tennis before but with the normal balls. Using the new balls was a new experience for me.
My eye condition is from birth as I am an albino. This means my eye muscles are very weak and it makes it difficult for me to focus. This makes me very short sighted and often I only see the ball when it bounces in front of me. The rule of allowing two bounces helps me to return the ball more often. My vision is classified as B4 which is quite good amongst VIPs. I immediately got into the swing of things and made a lot of new friends. I looked forward to Fridays when I could play, exercise and meet my friends. I also liked the competition and being on the winning side was very satisfying. We also get professional coaching which has helped to improve my game.
Whenever I have the time I will go out for a drink and a meal which enables me to get to know the other players socially. I am really enjoying playing tennis with Metro and it has become one of the highlights of the week. My favourite venue is the NTC in Roehampton. The facilities are really good. I would strongly recommend Metro Tennis to anyone with any form of visual impairment. It is enjoyable, satisfying and a good form of exercise
Milan Sheth, February 2012
A Tip Top Tennis Tournament
The 5th Metro Tennis Tournament was held on Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th October 2011 at the Islington Tennis Centre in North London. There were 24 visually impaired competitors from the South and the North East competing for Ladies Singles /Doubles, Men’s Singles/Doubles, Mixed Doubles and Mixed VI and Sighted Doubles titles.
The Islington Tennis Centre provided an excellent environment for the tournament. The location and staff were first class. The centre was easily accessible for the southern based players and the guys from the North East, being only one stop from Kings Cross. The 3 courts deployed were fully utilised all weekend and it took some major planning and operational skills from Julie and Steve Pilcher to ensure that the whole event ran smoothly and all matches were completed on time.
The standard of play was excellent and was a testament to all the hard work, training and preparation players undertook in readiness for this keenly competed event.
There was also time for some well earned socializing with a Tournament Dinner organised by Roy and Kathy Smith on Saturday night at a very popular local Italian restaurant providing great atmosphere for all participants, fans and helpers.
Wendy Glasper from the North East VI Tennis Club first came to one of our annual Tournaments last year at the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton. She was so enthused that she went back to Sunderland really fired up and started a tennis club for blind and partially sighted people in her neck of the woods.
We were thrilled when she contacted Metro to say that not only would she be taking part this year but she would also be bringing 4 other players with her and two coaches.
Their hard work has certainly paid off with the following taking back trophies: John Hawkins – Winner of Men’s Doubles and Mixed VI & Sighted (Partner from NE – Jo Cunliffe), Adele Waterfall-Brown – Runner Up Ladies Doubles and Mixed VI & Sighted, Rosie Pybus – Winner Ladies Doubles, Jonathon Nesbitt – ‘Player Of The Competition’.
Not to be outdone by the Raiders from the North the Southern contingent were the winners of many trophies including the following prestigious wins: Odette Battarel – Ladies Singles and Matthew Page – Men’s Singles. Matthew has only been playing tennis since March this year. He plays at Metro’s newly acquired Uxbridge venue. He is a psychology student at Brunel University and also plays cricket for Hampshire and England.
Visit the following link:
for a perspective on the Tournament from the northern contingent