Eastbourne Blind Society members hosted a ‘sound tennis’ taster day at their HQ in Longstone Road for visually impaired members of the community.
Sound tennis can be played on a regular tennis court or badminton court and uses larger balls which contain a bell inside to enable visually impaired players to locate and hit the ball.
There are rules regarding the level of sight loss and the number of times a ball can bounce. The sport originated in Japan and has spread across to USA, China and Russia and is now starting to grow across UK.
Mayor of Eastbourne, Cllr Janet Coles, who is also president of Eastbourne Blind Society, attended the event and played twice. The first time she played as a sighted player. The second time she wore simulation spectacles and played as a vision impaired player. She said, “It was thoroughly enjoyable. I really had to concentrate the second time to hear the bell as I couldn’t see the ball. I found it very stimulating and wish this new initiative well.”
Chief executive Deirdre Dean said, “For some time we have explored the idea of introducing the sport of sound tennis into Eastbourne for the benefit of our visually impaired community. Eastbourne, after all, is the home of tennis in the South East and really should be interested in this relatively new sport which, it is hoped, will make it to Paralympic status soon.” She also thanked Sound Tennis Sussex for giving demonstrations and advice.
Future sessions will be played at Eastbourne Sports Park. Two starter sessions have been booked on Friday April 17 and Friday April 24 from 10.30am - 12noon. Call 729511 for details.