Inclusion Tennis Program 2020  
 
 

NEWS – CAIRNS POST 

FNQ coach has vision for blind tennis success

A leading FNQ tennis coach is desperate to grow the game and participation in whichever way he can. And, following a workshop, he decided to dive headfirst into the blind and low vision tennis space.

<s1> ALL-INCLUSIVE: Coach Fred Lay (second from left), with Maddy Hoffman, 23, Sidney Whipp, 14, and Amy Cooper, 15. </s1> <ld pattern=" " /> <source></source>Picture: STEWART McLEAN

 

 ALL-INCLUSIVE: Coach Fred Lay (second from left), with Maddy Hoffman, 23, Sidney Whipp, 14, and Amy Cooper, 15. Picture: STEWART McLEAN

Leading FNQ tennis coach Fred Lay is desperate to grow the game and participation in whichever way he can.

And, following a workshop in Victoria last year, Lay, a Tennis Australia Club Professional Level coach, decided to dive headfirst into the blind and low vision tennis space.

Following the inclusion wheelchair tennis workshop, Lay has engaged three local players, Sidney Whipp, Maddy Hoffman and Amy Cooper, who have all gone on to flourish in the growing sport.

“I was fortunate enough to meet Sidney, Maddy and Amy, who are wonderful athletes that loves their tennis and are now given the opportunity to play in the Victorian blind tennis state championships and attend to the tennis camp,” Lay said.

“It is a great opportunity for our players to go down there, as it would be the first stepping stone to be identified to get into the Australian team if they were to attend and to get more knowledge and experience with blind and low vision tennis.”

<s1> ALL-INCLUSIVE: Coach Fred Lay (second from left), with Maddy Hoffman, 23, Sidney Whipp, 14, and Amy Cooper, 15. </s1> <ld pattern=" " /> <source></source>Picture: STEWART McLEAN

 

 ALL-INCLUSIVE: Coach Fred Lay (second from left), with Maddy Hoffman, 23, Sidney Whipp, 14, and Amy Cooper, 15. Picture: STEWART McLEAN

The promising trio were set to travel to Melbourne this month for the championships but decided to cancel their trip to Victoria due to coronavirus concerns.

However, they are keen to attend the next one, if and when it is safe to do so.

Lay, who is also Trinity Beach Tennis Club’s head coach, believes blind and low vision tennis is a growth area for the sport.

“I was able to experience working with the Australian blind and low vision team last year and I met some wonderful blind and low vision professional players in Melbourne, which inspired me to get an inclusion blind and low vision tennis hub going in FNQ,” Lay said.


The blind and low-vision tennis hub in Cairns runs every Saturday from 2pm at Trinity Beach State School, which Lay thanked for sponsoring the event and for allowing use of their indoor hall facilities.

If any community members would like to try out the program, please phone Fred Lay on 0407 968 578 or email fredlay@grittennis.com.au.