The dlr TAKEI tournament took place in Ireland in May 2018.
Blind tennis is an extremely skilled form of the sport. It is played on a standard court and the players locate the ball by the sound made by a bell in the middle of the ball. They are allowed either two or three bounces depending on their level of vision. 13 countries participated in this tournament with three of them making their debut in the blind tennis community – Pakistan, South Africa and Israel.
It was a wonderful opportunity for some Australian players including Sandra, Michael, Chris and Adam to attend the event and showcase their skills against competitors from around the world.
In addition to the competition, an umpire training course was held and three new IBTA classifiers passed the first classification course successfully. Coaches also had the opportunity to get together to discuss best practice and teaching methods to assist people who are blind and vision impaired.
The skill level of competitors was at a very high level and the Australian team played against some of these elite sportspeople. The tournament itself was a round robin with four separate categories being B1, B2, B3 & the Open Category.
Meeting old friends from the previous tournament in Spain was wonderful and meeting many new competitors from around the globe showed the increase and popularity of blind tennis.
At the Opening Ceremony, all participating countries were led by their flag bearers in a procession departing from the Royal Marine Hotel to the Dun Laoghaire Council offices followed by a welcome reception and dinner. BSRV was contacted by the Australian Embassy in Ireland and was thrilled to meet with both the Ambassador Mr. Richard Andrews and the Deputy Ambassador Mr. Simon Mamouney.
The amazing effort by Tennis Ireland in organizing such a great tournament was appreciated by all who attended. The number of volunteers on hand to assist and support attendees made everything run smoothly.
We look forward to attending more international tournaments in the coming years and hope Australia may be able to host one in the near future!