The Blind Tennis concept is attributed to Miyoshi Takei’s in Japan in 1984.The invention of a particular ball that makes a distinct sound when it is hit and bounces, has made tennis for the blind reality. The rules are mostly the same as mainstream tennis except for shorter rackets, smaller courts, more bounces allowed.
History of Blind Tennis
Blind Tennis in its present form started in Japan in 1990 and later launched in Ireland by Michael D Higgins at Vision Sports MayFest in 2016. The seeds were sown here when Liam O’Donohoe, Head of Tennis Ireland’s Enjoy Tennis programme, witnessed the game being played at Metro Sports in London.
Blind Tennis Growth
Blind/VI tennis grew quickly here with an Irish Team travelling to World Championships in Alicante in May 2017. Less than a year later Ireland hosted these World Championships in Shankhill, Co Dublin.In 2020 110 blind/vision impaired tennis players are registered with clubs throughout the island of Ireland. A team was selected in February 2020 to represent Ireland at the 2020 World Championships in Rome, but these championships have been postponed due to COVID-19.
Enjoy Tennis programme
Blind/VI tennis, as part of the Enjoy Tennis programme, receives Sport Ireland Dormant Account funding.
Get in touch
Liam O’Donohoe, Head of Enjoy Tennis, would love to hear from blind and vision-impaired people, at all levels, who would like to play the game.