Visually Impaired Tennis

What is Visually Impaired Tennis?

The game of tennis was first adapted to be used for blind and partially sighted people in Japan in 1984 and has quickly grown in popularity. It is now played in over 30 countries.

This version of tennis is for blind (classified as a B1 player) or partially sighted people (dependent on the level of sight loss they are classified in the spectrum between B2-B5). The game is adapted from the full court version to a smaller court, with lower nets and using an audible ball so players can hear it bounce and being hit. Depending on an individuals’ sight level they may have up to three bounces of the ball before they must return it back to their opponent.

VI tennis is fun to play and has a huge social aspect too. Durham & Cleveland is home to two Visually impaired groups.

Tees Valley Sound Tennis Group 

The sessions are held at Tennis World and take place on a Friday and Saturday afternoon depending on the participants level of sight.

For more information or to get involved, contact us at  

North East Visually Impaired Tennis Club

Formed in 2010, the North East Visually Impaired Tennis Club gives blind and visually impaired people in the North East of England, the opportunity to play tennis in a friendly, social and supportive environment. 

The Club is now recognised as one of the largest and most successful blind and visually impaired tennis clubs in the UK and caters for all ages and abilities. Quite simply, everyone is welcome. 

Success on the court has been matched by success off the court, with the Club winning a number of coveted honours. In 2014 the Club was named North East Disability Sports Club of the Year and in 2016 was named the winner of the prestigious Sport Newcastle, ‘Simon Bates Foundation’ award, for services to sport in the North East of England.

Whilst the aim of the Club is for members to have fun, we recognise that for some players that means competing in both local and national competitions. The opportunities for competition are vast and the Club do all they can to supports its players to compete on the regional, national and international stage. The Club can currently boast of having three UK national champions, a German national champion and a world gold medallist amongst its ranks.

Where do we play?

The Club holds tennis sessions at two fantastic indoor venues within the North East.

In Newcastle upon Tyne, it is welcomed by the Northumberland Lawn Tennis Association and The Northumberland Club, who give access to their award winning facilities in Jesmond. Coached sessions generally take place on Sunday afternoons throughout the year.

In Sunderland the venue is the Silksworth Pool, Tennis and Wellness Centre providing an eight court indoor tennis centre. These coach led sessions usually take place fortnightly on a Thursday.

See the Club sessions page to see where and when we are next playing.

We welcome and encourage everyone to play tennis and your first session is absolutely free. Come alone, bring your family or bring your friends, everyone is welcome to give this fantastic sport a go, before long, you’ll be hooked!