Inclusive training with a focus on Learning Disability Tennis and coaching some of Ireland’s Performance Visually Impaired players was the menu of the day.

Group photo of coaches and Lou & Sue standing infront of the net
All smiles after a great afternoon of sharing ideas

An early flight from Leeds, took Lou to the welcoming indoor tennis courts of Shankill Tennis club. Lou met and coached some of Ireland’s Performance Visually Impaired tennis players. The morning session was all about sharing ideas and discussions with the players and coaches, developing some new ideas around tactics and technique.

Sue arrived for lunch and in the afternoon, 16 coaches and club committee members, joined us for an interactive training session focusing on Learning Disability tennis. The session started off in the club house, developing understanding around inclusive models/practice and how this can create positive learning environments for all.

We quickly moved onto the courts to get active, using a variety of fun, colourful equipment and shared lots of creative ideas for the coaches to use in their sessions.

Coaches stood in a group discussing tracking warm ups
Tracking work discussions

Lots of group work explored how warm ups and tracking skills can be adapted to ensure all players can join in. As all it takes is a little creativity and a passionate coach.

We then finished the session exploring competition and what next…… how can we provide future opportunities for the players we already work with, whilst finding more players to enjoy tennis.

Lou & Sue in the club house
Lou & Sue

A fabulous day, with one regret, that is was over far too soon.

Thank you to Enjoy Tennis and Shankill Tennis Club for their hospitality, and all the coaches, players, and volunteers who joined us on a great day of collaborative learning.

LUSU joined the LTA, Andy Bell and Paul Singleton to deliver a CPD training course at Nottingham – building and developing an inclusive tennis programme.

A group photos with the coaches
What a great CPD

What a great day being part of the delivery team, training up 28 coaches on building and developing an inclusive tennis programme. The CPD took part alongside the British Open Wheelchair Championships held at Nottingham Tennis Centre.

The coaches started with a Q&A on programme development before hitting the court to look at wheelchair tennis. Tactics, chair set up and a few useful tips were shared, before the coaches had the fantastic opportunity to wander around the courts at Nottingham, where they could watch the players such as Gordon Reid (GB), Lucy Shuker (GB), Aniek Van Koot (Dutch) and Jiske Griffioen(Dutch) who had all played the previous week at Wimbledon.

As the coaches enjoyed lunch, Andy and Sue led a come and try session, which was very popular with the officials!

In the afternoon the coaches were led through a variety of scenarios using the LUSUKit and they all increased their confidence in creating an inclusive environment for learning disabilities and visually impaired tennis.

After our on court session, we also got to meet Billy Monger, who not only inspires through his personal story but continues to increase his comfort zone by raising money via his comic relief triathlon. It was great to chat about wheelchair tennis and F1.

Lou ad Sue have their photo with Billy Monger
Poor Billy, surrounded by Lou & Sue

What a day – if you are in the Nottingham area, then please do visit the British Open Wheelchair Championships, there’s some great tennis to watch. If you can’t make it to Nottingham, why not watch the live stream from the comfort of your home.

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