Tennis Foundation launches Wheelchair Tennis Development
The Tennis Foundation’s Wheelchair Tennis Development Series has been launched today with eight tournaments taking place nationwide from April until August 2013.
The Series, which is in its third year, is aimed at players who want to start playing competitive wheelchair tennis before stepping up to the ITF’s NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour.
To ensure there are competitive playing opportunities all year round, this Series will be followed by a Winter Series from September 2013.
Players competing are awarded points according to their results at each event and the Series will culminate with a National Final at the end of the year at the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton.
Paralympic bronze medallist Jamie Burdekin believes development events are key to producing the next generation of world class wheelchair tennis players.
“When I first started in the sport there weren’t so many opportunities to compete on a regular basis so it’s great to see the Tennis Foundation supporting events right across the country to get more British players competing. Hopefully we’ll find a future Paralympic star who can join our current crop on the international NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour,” said the world No.6 quad player.
Last year’s Series winners were Helen Bond from Lancashire and Steve Crompton from Southampton.
“I really enjoyed playing the Development Series last year and I was thrilled to win it. It’s really given me a taste for competing at more tournaments and I’m going to try and enter as many of this year’s events as I can to keep improving my game,” said Crompton.
“The Tennis Foundation is committed to getting more disabled people playing tennis and once they have enjoyed their first taste of wheelchair tennis, we want to make sure there are competitive opportunities for them to continue enjoying the game. The Development Series provides that opportunity and I’m sure we’ll see some of the players step up to play international ITF events in the future,” said the Tennis Foundation’s Events Manager Sandra King.
The Series will run in addition to the seven ITF events being held in Great Britain this year which range from Futures through to Grand Slam level at Wimbledon.
And for beginners to the sport, there is a series of nationwide Tennis Foundation wheelchair tennis camps with licenced coaches on hand to show how easy it can be to pick up a racket and have some fun.
Summer Series 2013
April 6th - 7th, Edinburgh Wheelchair Tennis Open, Craiglockhart Tennis Centre, Edinburgh
April 13th - 14th, Taunton Wheelchair Tournament, Taunton Tennis Centre, Taunton
May 4th - 5th, The JCCS Wheelchair Tennis Tournament, The John Charles Centre for Sport, Leeds
May 25th - 26th, The Oxstalls Wheelchair Tennis Tournament, Oxstalls Tennis Centre, Gloucester
June 22nd - 23rd, The Shrewsbury Summer Open, The Shrewsbury Club, Shrewsbury
July 13th - 14th, Gosling Wheelchair Tennis Tournament, Gosling IHPC, Welwyn Garden City
August 10th - 11th, The Kent Wheelchair Tennis Tournament, University of Kent, Canterbury
August 17th - 19th, Dublin Open Wheelchair Tennis Championships, David Lloyd Riverview Health & Fitness Centre, Dublin