First disability tennis festival bounces onto court at Olympic park

Young children take to the court at the Disablity Tennis Festival at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Ce

Young children take to the court at the Disablity Tennis Festival at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre - Credit: Archant

The first disability tennis festival for young people has been held in the former Olympic park.

Pupils from 13 primary schools across east London, including Star, Ravenscroft and Cleves primary schools in Newham, descended on the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre for its first ever Disability Tennis Festival.

The event, which saw 80 children play tennis on the centre’s indoor courts, was described as an “integral part” of delivering a “genuine legacy” from London 2012 by sports development officer Jack Pringle.

He added: “It was great to see the indoor courts full of youngsters during the sports festival. Everyone was enjoying themselves and we hope that they will continue playing the sport afterwards.”

Youngsters also came from the boroughs of Tower Hamlets, Hackney and Waltham Forest.

The event, on November 11, falls in the same month as the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters which will welcome back the world’s best players – many of whom competed there during the Paralympics – when it starts on November 26.

Among the 20 players to have qualified for the international event are British hopes Gordon Reid, Jordanne Whiley and Andy Lapthorne.

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The centre currently runs wheelchair tennis sessions every Thursday, from 6pm to 8pm, for participants over the age of 12. General tennis sessions are also inclusive for all abilities.

See visitleevalleypark.org.uk/hockeytennis for more.

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