Enjoy Tennis for players with a disability at Shankill Tennis Club

Tennis for players with a disability is an important feature of the club.

It started in 2014 with groups from Festina Lente and Carmona Services, local organisations that provide services to people with an intellectual disability.

Since then, the programme has grown as the club has welcomed players with a range of disabilities. Our coaching team have been a particularly important part of the success of this aspect of the club.
We welcome players with a disability as members of the club and offer reduced membership fees and also reduced pay and play rates.

In 2016 when we opened the new Indoor Centre with great support from Dun Laoghaire Rathdown CC and the Sports Capital Programme, this allowed the club to widen the number of disabilities that we can provide for and also to allow the existing groups to train all year round.

An important aspect of these groups is that club volunteers also participate in these sessions supporting the coaches and players.

Currently groups with the following disabilities play at the club.

  • Acquired Brain Injury
  • Blind/Vision Impaired
  • Dementia
  • Intellectual Disability & Autism
  • Wheelchair users

Please contact Liam O’Donohoe at odonohoeliam@gmail.com if you would like to find out more taking part in these sessions.

Visually Impaired Tennis

The club introduced Blind Tennis to Ireland in conjunction with Vision Sports Ireland(NCBI).  Blind Tennis can only be played indoors .  In 2018 the club hosted the blind tennis world championships which included teams from almost 20 countries.

Two sessions run every Sunday morning one for Juniors at 9am and one for seniors at 11am

Wheelchair Tennis

The indoor centre’s surfaces are ideal for wheelchair tennis. They make it easier for the players to move the chairs around the court. The club is proud to have Garreth Greene, Ireland’s no1 wheelchair player as a member, who competes on the UNIQLO World Tour.

With support from the Sports Capital Programme the club is purchasing specialist wheelchair tennis chairs for the players to ensure safe play.

For the last couple of years the coaching team have worked with the Physiotherapy Department at the National Rehabilitation Programme where tennis is now established part of their rehab programme for wheelchair users These sessions take place when the players are in patients at the Hospital.

We hope to provide an opportunity for these players to continue their tennis at the indoor centre after their discharge. Utilising the new wheelchairs to enable us to offer this opportunity.

Tennis for players with an ABI (Acquired Brain Injury)

Also at the National Rehabilitation Hospital the coaches work with players who have have an ABI as part of their rehab programme. After they have been discharged , the Occupational Therapy team bring patients who have been discharged, to coaching in the indoor centre on a weekly basis.

Dementia

St Joseph’s in Shankill is the largest residential service for people with Dementia in Dublin. In 2019 we welcomed a group of residents from St.Joseph’s and their staff to tennis at the club.  This continued up to Covid and now continues online each week.

Intellectual Disabilities & Autism

This has been a feature of club since we began and continues with Festina Lente on a weekly basis.  We’ve also have players from Sunbeam services and Carmona.