Enjoy Tennis is the Tennis Ireland programme for players with a disability to learn and enjoy playing tennis in clubs around Ireland.
It began in 2015 and was developed by Tennis Ireland following research which showed that players with a disability typically had no access to tennis as a sport. It was developed in conjunction with a range of partners including Vision Sports Ireland, IWA Sport and a range of different Service providers, including Stewarts Care, Carmona Services, St Michael’s House, Cheeverstown, Festine Lente, and Lakers.
The programme is strongly supported by Sport Ireland and a range of Local Sports Partnerships including Kildare, Dun Laoghaire and Cork and Sligo.
There are now 90 Enjoy Tennis clubs around Ireland with approximately 1200 players. Our ambition is that every tennis club in the country will have an Enjoy Tennis group.
Through a collaborative approach with partners, players and clubs, the Enjoy Tennis programme aims to provide an accessible and inclusive sport to people of all abilities in their communities.
The Story So Far
This has proven to be very successful for the players, service organisations, coaches and clubs involved and now involves 1200 players, with a range of abilities playing tennis on a regular basis in 80 clubs nationwide. The Enjoy Tennis programme caters for players:
- With an Intellectual disability
- With Autism spectrum Disorder
- With an Acquired brain injury (ABI)
- Who use a Wheelchair
- Who are Blind /have a Vision Impairment
- Who have Dementia
- To improve their Mental Health
- Who are Deaf/Hard of Hearing
- Who have Cerebral Palsy
In 2018 Tennis Ireland received the National Governing Body Award for the Enjoy Tennis Programme at the CARA National Inclusion Awards and we hosted the World Blind Tennis Championships at Shankill Tennis Club.
We have incorporated Inclusive Tennis Coaching for all abilities into our Professional Coaching qualifications.
How does the Programme work?
Enjoy Tennis links local organisations such as Service Providers like St Michael’s House, or NGBs such as Vision Sports Ireland or IWA sport with local Tennis clubs. To engage groups in the programme, Enjoy Tennis provides free tennis coaching for the first 10 weeks and the tennis club provides their courts for free.
Following the ten weeks the clubs continue to provide the courts and the Tennis Development officers work with the club and service providers to plan how to fund the continuation of tennis for the groups going forward. The overall ambition is to ensure that players have a long-term opportunity to enjoy their tennis rather than a once off experience.
If you would like to find out more about starting an Enjoy Tennis group please contact one of our Development Officers listed below.
Where to play blind Tennis
Blind/Vision Impaired Tennis is part of the Tennis Ireland Enjoy Tennis programme, which aims to provide opportunities for people with a disability to play the wonderful game of tennis.
Blind and vision impaired tennis is suitable for adults and children and is played indoors. Tennis Ireland and Vision Sports Ireland have host clubs across the country. Sessions are delivered by fully qualified tennis coaches who are always recruiting new players to join their groups.