Blind and visually impaired tennis players will take center stage at this year’s Australian Open

Many Australians residing with blindness or visible impairment can discover it troublesome to outline their illustration in mainstream Australian sport.

But the Australian Open is about to host exhibition matches for the primary time with blind and visually impaired tennis gamers to lift consciousness and promote the brand new sport.

The matches, which is able to happen on Monday, January 23, will function Australian B2 BLV tennis champion Courtney Webeck, in addition to different folks with visible impairments.

“I think blind tennis has the potential to grow into an amazing platform over the next few years,” Webeck mentioned.

“We’ve seen it happen to high-level wheelchair tennis at the Paralympics.”

Blind Sports Australia partnered with a cost processing company to fund BLV tennis matches on the event in addition to native tennis golf equipment.

“They are putting money back into grassroots tennis to give visually impaired athletes invaluable opportunities to enjoy the sport, whether in the community or at a high professional level,” Webeck mentioned.

At the Australian Open, exhibition matches are performed with the participation of blind or visually impaired athletes.(Attached: Eleven PR)

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Blind tennis is often performed on a brightly lit indoor court docket. The court docket is smaller than an everyday tennis court docket and the rackets utilized by the gamers are shorter.

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Matt Clayton would like to see the BLV championship on the Australian Open.(Attached: Matt Clayton)

A blind tennis ball or sonic ball is made of froth and incorporates a bell or rattle to assist gamers decide which path the ball was hit and whether or not it was a again or proper hit.

Blind Sports Australia chief government Matt Clayton is hopeful that introducing blind tennis to a wider viewers will pave the best way for extra video games to be performed.

“This is a great opportunity to showcase some of the Australian Open matches for the first time,” he mentioned.

“I would like it to be something that is not just an exhibition match opportunity, but ideally we would like the championship to be held during the Australian Open.”

Pushing for extra illustration in sports activities

An on-line survey performed by YouGov confirmed that 66% of individuals consider that individuals with disabilities are underrepresented in sports activities.

The survey was performed from 15 to 18 December final 12 months and concerned 1,048 Australians aged 18 and over.

Data has been weighted by age, intercourse and area to mirror the most recent Australian Bureau of Statistics inhabitants estimates.

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Most of the respondents communicate of the underrepresentation of individuals with disabilities in sports activities.(Attached: Eleven PR)

“I think the statistics are really important to better highlight the fact that there is still some disparity for people living with a disability in terms of being able to see athletes on the court who may have a similar disability or impairment,” mentioned Mr. n Clayton.

“We know that blind tennis itself, or tennis for the visually impaired, is a fairly new sport, especially here in Australia.”

Webeck nonetheless feels blind and athletes with poor eyesight are being ignored, however hopes to contribute to alter that can profit the subsequent technology.

“There are so many sensational athletes out there and blind tennis is not that different from traditional tennis, so I would love to see him compete in more tournaments around the world,” she mentioned.

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