Paralympians inspire new generation at Nottingham Tennis Festival

disability tennis festival
05 Dec 2013 16:47:35.283

Double Paralympic champion Peter Norfolk MBE and Nottingamshire's two-time Paralympian David Phillipson were on hand to inspire the next generation of players at a Disability Tennis Festival run in partnership with The University of Nottingham on Tuesday.

Hosted by the Tennis Foundation, in partnership with the University of Nottingham, the Lawn Tennis Association, and the International Tennis Federation, the festival at Nottingham Tennis Centre also helped celebrate the United Nations’ International Day of Persons with a Disability.

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The festival welcomed players of all ages and abilities and gave local members of the community the chance to try tennis for the first time.

“On the back of the momentum created by the London 2012 Paralympic Games, days like this in Nottingham show the range of options available for disabled people to get involved in tennis whether it’s playing for fun, competing, coaching or volunteering,” said Norfolk, who has won five medals at the last three Paralympic Games.

“The best thing about tennis is how adaptable it is and a lot of people think wheelchair tennis is the only option, but the sport can be adapted for anyone, for example if you have a learning disability or are deaf or visually impaired.

The festival began with disability inclusion training in the morning for those who deliver tennis, including officials, coaches, volunteers and those who work at tennis venues so they can feel more confident when dealing with people who may have additional needs.

This was followed by a schools session to showcase the support British tennis can give both Special Schools and mainstream schools to adapt tennis for disabled pupils. This support includes training and free equipment.

"It's been a great, fun day and I really enjoyed being able to pass on some tips and share the fun that I get from wheelchair tennis at the end of what has been a busy season," said British No. 3 Phillipson, who was runner-up in the men's singles and men's doubles over the weekend at the British Wheelchair Tennis Championships.

The focus for the afternoon were free come and try sessions for anyone who wanted to give tennis a go for the first time or who wanted to brush up their skills, with help and advice from licensed coaches, who were on hand to offer expert tips with, all equipment provided. Everyone who attended left with information on where they can continue playing near them.

“The ITF is delighted to have worked with the Tennis Foundation and the University of Nottingham to bring today's Festival to Nottingham and this is all part of a global campaign to raise awareness of, and promote wheelchair tennis on today's International

Day of Persons with a Disability,” said the ITF’s Wheelchair Tennis Manager, Mark Bullock.

Hannah Webber, Disability Sports Officer, added, “The University of Nottingham is always excited to be working on initiatives such as this and this has been a great opportunity to work with the ITF and Tennis Foundation again. We see it as a great way to not only raise awareness of disability sport, but also get students and staff involved in tennis whether it be as a volunteer, coach or player.”

You can find out more about different versions of tennis and where to play near you at


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Notes to editors: The University of Nottinghamhas 42,000 students and is ‘the nearest Britain has to a truly global university, with campuses in China and Malaysia modelled on a headquarters that is among the most attractive in Britain’ (Times Good University Guide 2014). It is also one of the most popular universities among graduate employers, one of the world’s greenest universities, and winner of the Times Higher Education Award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Development’. It is ranked in the World's Top 75 universities by the QS World University Rankings.

More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise. The University aims to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health. The University won a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education for its research into global food security.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest ever fundraising campaign, will deliver the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news

Story credits

More information is available from Hannah Webber, Disability Sports Officer at The University of Nottingham on +44 (0)115 84 68121,

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Michael Munro - Student Communications Officer

Email:  Phone: +44 (0)115 82 32353  Location: University Park

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