In 2007 Wendy Glasper attended a course through Action for Blind People and was introduced to Visually Impaired Tennis. Wendy was fascinated by the ball used and decided to find out how she could order some herself, which turned out to be no easy feat!
It took until March 2010 before Wendy had finally taken hold of an order of VI Balls from Japan and had organised her first Come & Try session. But now the ‘ball was in her court’ Wendy could move at her pace – and very soon had set up her own Club – the North East VI Tennis Club. Jo Cuncliffe from the LTA, a big supporter of VI Tennis, told Wendy about the Dan Maskell Trust and Wendy promptly applied for funding to set up regular sessions with a professional coach at the Northumberland Club. This funding was granted and to this day, 10 years later, the Club is still operating and providing support for Visually Impaired players of all standards. Talk to anyone in the UK playing VI tennis and they can probably tell you a time that Wendy encouraged them and pushed them to take their tennis further. Wendy has a real passion for showing others they can do anything, and believes that tennis is for everyone, they just need to be shown how inclusive the game is.
Wendy has spent the last ten years running awareness stands and come and try sessions to take tennis to more Visually Impaired people. In 2017 her hard work was recognised as she was crowned the LTA National Volunteer of the Year!
On a personal level, Wendy still recalls the first tournament she competed in back in 2010, run by Metro Blind Sports. She caught the train down to London and remembers on the journey home ‘absolutely buzzing’ that there was a racket sport she could play. A few years later she also applied for personal funding from DMTT to allow her to have some personal coaching, it was in this time she developed her famous ‘trick shot’. Wendy was selected on the first ever Great Britain team that travelled to play in the VI International and remembers this experience, and getting to the semi final as the highlight of her career. However, as a testament to the type of person Wendy is, and why she will be a fabulous Ambassador for the Trust is the fact that she identifies that introducing so many people to tennis over the years is an even bigger achievement for her.