Have you ever wondered what it’s like to walk onto a tennis court in front of hundreds of spectators in a large stadium?
During the recent Australian Open, 17 deaf and hard of hearing kids from Victoria had the opportunity to experience this by walking onto Hisense Arena for the Hot Shots Kids on Court clinic.
The Hot Shots session was organised by Tennis Australia in partnership with Deaf Tennis Australia to ensure that deaf and hard of hearing kids enjoy the opportunity of a lifetime by participating in tennis clinics during a world-class major event. Wendy Watson, a mother of a young deaf girl mentioned that "It was a fantastic opportunity for our children to be able to play tennis on Hisense Area and then spend the day watching the professionals play on the outside courts.
And also not to mention a fun day catching up with their Deaf friends". Many of the deaf and hard of hearing children live across Melbourne and to bring them to a central event like the Australian Open gives them the opportunity to meet other like-minded friends. “I thought it was a great opportunity for the kids to experience the
Australian Open event and in particularly taking in the Hisense Arena court atmosphere” says Glen Flindell, President of Deaf Tennis Australia.
“The feedback from parents were positive and the event was a great way to encourage the kids to participate in tennis”.
At the conclusion of the clinic, Elise Black was nominated to toss the coin prior to the game between world number eight Jelena Jankovic and Misaki Doi. Elise Black regularly takes part in the weekly tennis clinic for deaf and hard of hearing kids held at Macleod.
“Having Glen Flindell who is a Deaflympian as well as the winner of the Tennis Australia 2012 Athlete with a Disability of the Year Award at the clinic as a role model is inspirational”. “There isno doubt the young kids look up to Glen as well as identify with him which is an important step to self acceptance despite their hearing loss,” says Irena Farinacci, Sports Development Officer at Deaf Sports Australia.
Deaf Tennis Australia will be hosting their 2014 National Deaf Tennis Championships in Brisbane on the weekend of 14 and 15 June at the Queensland Tennis Centre, 190 King Arthur Terrace, Tennyson.
For more information about this event, please send an email to Glen Flindell or John Lui at Deaf Tennis Australia: [email protected]