Tennis: have a rally using forehand and backhand.
Tennis as a sport is not only great fun to learn but is a great social game with tennis clubs and courts everywhere in our communities. It is great for developing coordination, speed, strength and agility.
Tennis Australia is the governing body for Tennis in Australia and oversees tournaments – the biggest one by far is the Australian Open, and offers a plethora of resources and information for participation for all abilities and communities across Australia.
Tennis SA is the governing body for tennis in SA. They promote the game of tennis and provide support to Clubs and Courts to ensure they are accessible and inclusive for all. Tennis SA provides connections to Clubs and Coaches (or you can join Tennis SA direct).
Programs and opportunities they offer include:
There are tennis courts in most local communities. ‘Play Tennis’ has an online directory of all the courts that can be hired in or around your local community.
Ballkids (Tennis SA)
Children aged 12-17 can be part of a Ballkid Squad and play an integral role in helping tennis tournaments run smoothly. No experience necessary, but training is required.
Tennis Australia in conjunction with its Member Associations wants to continue to provide more accessibility and opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders to participate and engage in tennis through educating clubs and coaches, enhancing talent identification, providing pathway opportunities, creating more playing opportunities through community events and tournaments and providing funding for Indigenous tennis programs, equipment and coaches.
One of the great initiatives includes The National Indigenous Tennis Carnival (including 12&U, 14&U, and 18&U) which Ash Barty is an Ambassador for. Ash is one of Australia’s most adored sporting figures and took out the Young Australian of the year in 2020. The Carnival is in partnership with the Evonne Goolagong Foundation. Evonne Goolagong is a legend of the game and does incredible things through her foundation that aims to provide as many Indigenous children the opportunity to be the best they can be. She was named Australian of the Year in 1971.
Check out the inspiring and heart-warming tennis coach, storyteller and teacher of culture Alfred Coolwell who makes an enormous difference to the people coaches.
You can read Tennis SA’s Reconciliation Action Plan here.
Blind and Low Vision Tennis
Tennis South Australia is committed to providing opportunities to play for all participants, including those who are Blind and Vision Impaired. Modified equipment such as tactile lines, smaller racquets, balls with a bell and smaller court dimensions are utilised in Blind Tennis to ensure participants can engage in the game of tennis. A key part of South Australia’s opportunities are derived from the relationship between South Australian School for Vision Impaired and Tennis SA. The South Australian School for Vision Impaired won the award for Most Outstanding School in 2020 on the back of their strong program and links to Somerton Park Tennis Club.
Intellectual Disability Tennis
Tennis Australia and Tennis SA are committed to embracing diversity by ensuring tennis is welcoming, safe and inclusive for everyone. Inclusion is about providing choices for people to participate in sport in a way that they feel comfortable. As well as mainstream tennis opportunities, there are a variety of initiatives that people with an intellectual disability or autism can choose to participate in.
There are a range of opportunities from participation through to elite competitive pathways that include:
- Down Syndrome come and try days
- PWII come and try days
- Talent Development identification sessions
- PWII National Tournaments
- PWII State Squads
- Australian Tennis Championships
- Virtus World Tennis Championships
- Global Games
- Special Olympics
Inclusive Tennis (One Culture)
One Culture offers a disability Tennis Program open to all ages and abilities in Adelaide. Even if you’ve never hit a ball before, but would like a go, you are welcome to join in. The program is about making everyone feel comfortable and focuses not only on tennis but on health, wellbeing, motor skills, confidence and self-esteem. Currently, this is not suitable for wheelchair or vision-impaired participants.LEARN MORE
Tennis Australia provides a great overview of opportunities and pathways for wheelchair tennis as well as a wheelchair loan program.
One of the icons of global tennis is our very own Dylan Alcott who has changed the face of tennis through his fierce advocacy for inclusion not just in the game of tennis but in the community. He is an inspiring human and has started the Dylan Alcott Foundation – a charitable organisation with the core purpose of helping young Australians with disabilities gain confidence, fulfil their potential and achieve their dreams by eliminating the barriers of entry to get involved in sport and study through mentoring, grants and scholarships. Check out this short video featuring Dylan; “Paralympic Sport Changed My Life“.
- Tennis carnival for students with a disability (Department for Education)