The LTA has reiterated its commitment to helping people with a disability get active and play tennis through its sector-leading Open Court programme.
Ahead of the UN’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities on Thursday, December 3, the LTA wants tennis to help lead the resumption of disability sporting activity once lockdown restrictions end in England on Wednesday, and is supporting tennis venues across the country to get sessions back up and running.
Disabled people have been one of the groups most impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, and Sport England chief Tim Hollingsworth recently warned there is a real danger disabled people will be left behind as the sport and physical activity sector recovers.
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The LTA is using this week to shine a spotlight on disability tennis and all those involved in it to help encourage more people to return to court and new players to give it a try.
LTA participation director, Olly Scadgell, said: “Great Britain is now regarded as one of the leading nations in the world for disability tennis, and everyone who has played a part in the Open Court programme in any way, whether as a player, coach, official or volunteer, should be rightly proud of that.
“While the coronavirus pandemic has presented a number of challenges for disabled people, it has been pleasing to see the Government prioritising exemptions for disability sport to allow it take place under all tiers of restrictions. In putting a real focus on disability tennis this week we are hoping to encourage more players to feel confident about returning to court once this lockdown period ends, as well as encourage some new players to pick up a racket.”
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Director of sport at Sport England, Phil Smith, said: “It is really important that sport as a sector ensures that disabled people are not left behind as we return to getting active in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
“It is fantastic to see the LTA putting a real focus on getting the Open Court programme back up and running to build on the success it has achieved over the last few years, and Sport England is proud of our role in supporting that.
“While tennis generally helps deliver physical and mental health and wellbeing benefits for participants, we know that is particularly the case for disabled people, and so we hope to see lots of players enjoying being back on court in the coming months, as well as some new players picking up a racket and giving it a go.”
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