The opportunity to travel to Spain with the GB Blind and Visually Impaired Tennis Team as GB Coach, was not only a proud moment in my career, but also a fantastic environment to learn from players, coaches and other countries alike.
- 6 Players were selected - 1 male and 1 female in 3 sight classifications - B1, B2 and B3
- 14 countries represented
- 67 players competing - all of whom on Day 1, I had the opportunity to hit with and assess their playing standards for the tournament seedings.
The standard of play was unknown when we travelled to Spain, however it proved to be high, especially the B1 section. Coaches and players spent the week sharing good practice, both on and off the court, meeting new networks and friends, and setting standards for the tournament for years to come.
Team GB had historical success - Gold for Chris Bailey (B3 Male), Silver for Brenda Cassell (B2 Female), whilst other players reached Quarter finals, and won consolation draws.
My main memory will be watching the Men’s B1 final - 5 shot rally and Alex from Spain hitting a ‘hot dog’ within the final - standards demonstrate that when ability is pushed, boundaries can be limitless.
Since my return, LUSU Sports have been developing further coaching aids for Blind and Visually sighted sport.
For further information on this event - please go to http://www.tennisfoundation.org.uk/historic-success-for-gb-visually-impaired-tennis-team-in-spain/