On Sunday 20th December, players from the Visually Impaired Tennis community, along with friends and supporters, will take part in our physical challenge. Happening as part of our ‘Wheelie Physical Challenge’ the VI Tennis 2020 Challenge has enlisted the support of 20 blind and partially sighted tennis players and their community of friends and supporters to balance or bounce a ball on their racket for 20 minutes, or to ‘move, shake & make a racket’ with their sound tennis ball for the same amount of time!
Participants are being challenged to raise £20 each which will hopefully result in a £400 boost for the Dan Maskell Tennis Trust, allowing them to reach and support more individuals and groups of all levels and abilities to access tennis.
The challenge will conclude a gruelling 24hr Zoomathon dubbed ‘The Global Bounce’ in which blind and partially sighted tennis players will connect from the UK to countries such as Mexico, India, Singapore, Germany, Spain and many more countries across the globe!
You can support this challenge by giving at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/VITennis2020Challenge or simply by giving this post a like and share.
The VI challenge is being organised by Dan Maskell Tennis Trust ambassadors and North East based duo Wendy Glasper and Rosie Pybus and is being supported by the two leading clubs Tees Valley Sound Tennis and North East Visually Impaired Tennis Club.
Pybus, 29 from Middlesbrough and Glasper, 60 from Darlington have both represented Great Britain in their respective categories on the global stage, with Glasper taking 4th Place in the inaugural International Blind Tennis Tournament in the B2 Ladies category in Spain in 2017 and Pybus coming Runner Up in the Open Category in Ireland in 2018 and going one further to clench 1st Place at the 2019 International Blind Tennis Tournament in Spain.
The duo have been instrumental in the sports success in the North East and as recipients of individual grants and beneficiaries of group funded activities, the pair were enthusiastic to lead the charge on behalf of the VI Tennis community.
Glasper said ‘Sport has given me more in life to look forward to, since I started to play tennis and had funding from the Dan Maskell Tennis Trust my life is much more complete and exciting. Helping others to play tennis and helping coaches to learn VI tennis has kept me busy with great friends off court and fantastic battles on court I love it!’
Pybus added ‘Tennis has totally transformed my life and it is through our incredible sport that I have formed some of my deepest friendships and encountered truly life changing experiences. Whilst I’m a massive advocate of movement and I believe that there is a sport or activity out there for everybody, my other firm belief is that the magic of our sport does not only lie between two tramlines, it’s as much about the camaraderie and banter off court as it is about what happens on court! The Dan Maskell Tennis Trust has played an integral part in my tennis journey and I cannot wait to embark on this challenge and begin raising funds and awareness for this wonderful charity! COVID has had a profound impact on those with disabilities and additional support needs and many people from within the VI community have experienced heightened anxieties and additional challenges with social distancing, faced feelings of isolation and many other challenges in relation to navigating the ‘new norm’ with a vision impairment. I am looking forward to connecting with friends from across the globe and I can’t wait to hear about the grit and determination with which they have been facing the pandemic in order to keep themselves active and well.’
We wish all of the participants taking part all the best of luck!
Participants taking part in the challenge are:
- Rosie Pybus (Middlesbrough)
- Wendy Glasper (Darlington)
- Susan Whelan (Billingham)
- Maurice Whelan (Billingham)
- Tracy Compton (Sutton)
- Chris Kaplan (Germany)
- Frankie Rohan (County Durham)
- Jo Cunliffe (Middlesbrough)
- Sidney Tambin (Durham)
- Jan Donnelly (Norton)
- David Donnelly (Norton)
- Jonathon Nesbitt (North Tyneside)
- Odette Battarel (London)
- David Deas (Newcastle)
- Amanda Large (Manchester)
- Minerva Ainsworth (London)
- Bianka Graeming (Germany)
- Martin Etheridge (London)
- Will Harrison (Sunderland)
- Jack Fisher (Gibraltar)
- Sarah Fortescue (Milton Keynes)