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Tennis for all as the sport continues to open up.

Tennis has seen a surge in popularity over the summer, with a number of Surrey venues experiencing increased court usage. It has been great to hear how our Surrey Tennis community has been keeping their games sharp during this challenging period.

Clare Blake, who has been playing at Coombe Wood LTC, shared her story with Surrey Tennis about how her, husband Chris and son Henry have been continuing to practice. Clare plays wheelchair tennis and has competed in the last couple of County Wheelchair Championships. Chris is a Visually Impaired player, who regularly competes in top ranking events. Whilst they are glad to be back on the court, it is not without its challenges. They have to use a particular ball when practicing together, as visually impaired tennis uses a foam ball with a bell inside it. Furthermore they have to play on the artificial grass as opposed to the hard – a surface that Clare experiences slightly less friction on when moving the chair around the court.

The weather can also be a factor as too much wind or sun can cause Chris issues due to the noise and light respectively. However, this does not stop them from getting out onto court and working on their games. Clare says it is better than nothing whilst she waits for her wheelchair sessions to start up again, as it is good practice for her movement and judgement on the ball speed and direction. It is also an opportunity for the family to enjoy their tennis together. With tennis gradually opening up further, both Clare and Chris will hopefully resume their impairment specific training sessions in the near future. But this is a clear demonstration that tennis is for everyone, and even with it challenges, you can always find a way to work on aspects of your game.


If you are interested in finding out more about wheelchair, visually impaired or other forms of the game please do get in touch – tim.sagar@surrey.tennis


Clare’s wheelchair came via the Dan Maskell Tennis Trust Grant Scheme. To find out more about the offer and other ways they support disability tennis please click here.

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