Hi, I’m Tango, a small orange knitted snowman who started life as a ball of wool, but who has come to be the LUSU mascot and a symbol of friendship and resilience

Tango poking out of the Tennis Net band
Heh – here I am. Anyone fancy a game of tennis?

Here’s the story behind my beginnings.

I was knitted by a Blind Veteran who started knitting beanie hats after attending one of the Blind Veterans UK centres on a Health and Wellbeing week, using a circular knitting machine (Sentro 48 needles for a beanie hat and only 22 needles to make me!)

Sentro 48 needle circular knitting maching
Sentro 48 needle circular knitting machine

Here’s why my creator tried knitting

“Whilst away someone suggested that I go and do some knitting, after nearly falling off my chair with laughter, (as i am more about building things with pallets and I was not into knitting), I was intrigued as to how a visually impaired person could knit. As with a lot of things VI people do, you have to adapt or find a different way and that was when I was introduced to the circular knitting machine. It was set up for me by doing the casting on and then it was a case of just turning the handle till the right length was achieved and then they casted off for me and hey presto, a beanie hat was knitted in just over half an hour.

When I got home, I decided to get my own machine as I was now injured and needed something to keep me busy.

After making a few hats I did some research as to what else I could make and found the snowman. It took me quite a while to figure it out especially getting the eyes and nose in the right place. Then I played around with colours and knew that LUSU colours were orange, and Tango was born.”

My creator

What I have been up to so far.

And so the story begins, I was created in December. I have already started to travel and represent LUSU, starting my role as mascot. I’ve helped delivering LUSU training courses, presenting in Staffordshire and Colchester. Jumped onto a filming session with Lou developing inclusion videos for the LTA Youth Schools Secondary Teachers and I have just come from my travels skiing in Andorra. Here, I had the opportunity of meeting one of my snowy friends (who was looking a little peaky, and needed some more snow), skiing down the slopes, lots of coffee breaks and chatting to new friends. I plan to visit many places with LUSU, learn new things and meet many friends (new and old). 

Why am I a symbol of friendship and resilience?

My creator met Lou in October, where Lou introduced Blind & Visually Impaired Tennis. One of Lou’s passions is getting more players enjoying VI Tennis and as such Lou shared playing opportunities. Over this time a friendship grew, and I was formed. Resilience due to the number of times we face difficult and tough situations, but we adapt, we find a way emotionally, mentally and physically to overcome and keep moving forward. This is one of the values of LUSU to adapt and find a way. My creator has shown resilience as they had not knitted before sight loss and have tried a new skill, overcome the challenges and created ME!

“Tango can show that whatever barriers you face there is a way around, it may not be conventional, after all when has there been an orange snowman?! He does not need feeding or much else, just love, he has great listening skills and does not answer back. Tango will be great to help anyone who may be struggling, to take a few minutes with Tango, chat to him and let him bring a smile” My creator

Watch out for me on my travels

I will be keeping everyone updated on my role as mascot on the LUSU social media channels. Follow my adventures – Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @LUSUSports #Tangoontour, #Tangotravels

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