Game, set and match as Murray fever inspires wannabe Sunderland tennis stars

MATCH POINT: Councillor Peter Gibson, left, gets ready to take on Adele Waterfall-Brown, Chair of the North East Visually Impaired Tennis Club, while club members and Sunderland Tennis Centre staff cheer them on.
MATCH POINT: Councillor Peter Gibson, left, gets ready to take on Adele Waterfall-Brown, Chair of the North East Visually Impaired Tennis Club, while club members and Sunderland Tennis Centre staff cheer them on.
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WOULD-BE Andy Murrays are taking to the tennis courts as Wimbledon fever sweeps Wearside.

Demand for courts at the Sunderland Tennis Centre has gone through the roof as amateur players try to up their game after watching the professionals at the famous tournament.

Bosses at the Silksworth centre say tennis players of all ages and abilities have been coming back for more as they look to serve up their own classic matches.

Players from the North East Visually Impaired Tennis Club, some of whom are registered blind, are among those who have been taking advantage of the centre’s ace facilities.

Adele Waterfall-Brown, 25, chairman of the club, said: “Tennis is a fantastic sport to take part in and it’s open to people of all ages and abilities. Everyone in our group is either visually impaired or registered blind, but we can still play the game and we love it”

Visually impaired people can take part in tennis at the Sunderland Tennis Centre with the use of specially adapted equipment, including special sponge balls with a table tennis ball inside full of ball-bearings to create a rattling sound.

Coun Mel Speding, Secretary of Sunderland City Council, said: “The Sunderland Tennis Centre is always a popular venue for tennis players from not just Sunderland but the whole of the North East. Naturally this is even more so during Wimbledon.

“After school in particular the centre is very busy with children, all no doubt dreaming of being the next Andy Murray. It is absolutely fantastic to see people of all ages and abilities taking part, because the game has so many great benefits.”

For more information on the The North East Visual Impairment Club call 07725 106573 or email northeastvitennis@yahoo.com

For details on the Sunderland Tennis Centre call 561 5900 or visit www.sunderland.gov.uk

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