IN a first for the city, visually-impaired people are being given the chance to try their hand at tennis.
Sound tennis is a new way of playing the game which allows those who are blind or partially sighted to take up the sport.
Special balls are imported from Japan for the sport. Larger than a tennis ball, they are made of sponge and contain a table tennis ball which rattles so players can hear it approaching.
The sport has been brought to Sunderland by The North East Visually Impaired Tennis Club which is hosting monthly sessions at Silksworth Tennis Centre.
One of the organisers, Wendy Glasper, says it’s a positive step forward for Sunderland’s visually impaired.
“They have been playing it in Japan for 20 years or so,” she explained.
“It came over to London about four years ago, which is where I was introduced to it.
“I went down to a Sound Tennis competition in London, not with the aim of competing but to learn more about the sport. I came back on a high and wanted to develop it up here.”
l The Silksworth sessions, which are priced £2.50, are available to people who have sight impairments and are aged 16 or over.
For details, contact Wendy on 07805 636719 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org