What is wheelchair tennis?

As many of you know, I'm taking a break from athletics at the moment. My goal has always been to find some friends, and to find a community. While I am thankful for the friends, I have made, and the people I have met through athletics; I just don't think the sport is for me anymore, and this is okay.

Image description: Layne is a young lady who is sitting in a wheelchair and holding a tennis racket with a tennis ball. She is wearing a grey cap, purple long sleeve shirt, blue leggings and black sneakers. She has turned her wheelchair onto the side while looking forward and smiling at the camera. There also is tennis balls in the wheelchair.

So, wheelchair tennis is exactly what it is like; it's a sport … tennis, which is played in a wheelchair. You might have seen, Paralympian and disability activist, Dylan Alcott within the media for the Australian Open (tennis tournament). The wheelchair that you see on the court aren't the 'everyday wheelchairs' that you see disabled folks use. Tennis wheelchairs have 20-degree angles for both wheels each side of the chair (left and right side of the chair), as well as a smaller wheel on the back of the chair which stops the person from tilting too far back.

Each wheelchair is custom made to a person. Professional athletes, and athletes who are willing to spend the money often have their own tennis chairs. But for others, like myself, who is just starting out in the sport. I borrow the chair from the tennis club to use.

When we talk about para-sports in 'general' it's a very small community, and it is quite difficult from what I have experienced to get the word out there; not only about wheelchair tennis, but also about any-other para-sports. For those of you that follow me on social media Instagram and my Facebook Page you might have seen, Manning Tennis Club appear within my posts and stories.

Prior to joining tennis, I only knew a little bit about wheelchair tennis. Through people that I follow on social media like Dylan, as well as a little come and try day way back when I just found out that there was a disability sporting community in WA. Within the first couple of weeks of trying the sport, I knew it was right for me. I'm not sure if I will ever compete in this sport, but the community here at the club is incredible.

How can you help?

  • Tell people about wheelchair tennis. You never know, these people that you tell might know a disabled folk who is interested in giving wheelchair tennis ago.

  • To those disabled folks out there that are interested in giving this ago, we have a Facebook Page and an Instagram account that you can follow, and even get in touch with us! For those disabled folks that are ambulant, you don't have to be in a wheelchair to play wheelchair tennis. Manning tennis has some chairs that you can borrow, for while you are out, and on their court. Not every tennis club have these, as disability sport/para sport is quite small. We are hoping to branch out this fantastic sport to other tennis facilities.

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