On Sunday 6th May, twenty three deaf kids aged from two to nine years old assembled at the Gosling Sports Park, Welwyn Garden City for a fun tennis session. All the kids were coached by the Great Britain deaf tennis stars and coaching team, which they loved!
After two hours of fun and games, all the kids were presented with a special trophy from the British Deaf Tennis Association Chairwoman Fiona Brookes for their hard work!
Everyone then retired to the cafe to catch up, play together and eat the free packed lunches courtesy of the LTA! Some families stayed on to watch some of the action from the National Deaf Tennis Championships, where Lewis and Catherine Fletcher secured a husband-and-wife double, winning the men’s and women’s singles and doubles titles between them!
The kids tennis session was organised by Deaf Parents Deaf Children, in partnership with the British Deaf Tennis Association (BDTA), and the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA). As it was such a great success for all kids and parents alike, discussions are already underway to set up regular tennis sessions for all deaf kids! Watch this space.
‘The kids were an absolute pleasure to coach. I was working with a group which contained a mixture of different ages, and every single one paid attention for the full duration of the lesson and gave 100% maximum effort! Thinking about the success of the session afterwards, it made me wonder that, as all deaf kids were from deaf parents, where communication between deaf parent and deaf child has no barriers, the child’s need for information is always fulfilled when they make eye contact with mum or dad. That makes them want to look and engage even more and I’m sure that this is why the tennis session was such a huge success and the kids learnt so quickly! Great fun!’ said Fiona Brookes, Chairwoman of the British Deaf Tennis Association.
“We had a very successful Championships and it was great to see so many young children picking up a racket and having a go before seeing some top role models in action,” said Tournament Director Becky Tilley.