THE FIRST SERVE
Date: 25th – 26th November, 2017
Venue: Priyadarshini Park and Sports Complex, Nepean Sea Road, Mumbai
Description: A lawn tennis workshop to understand the movement on court; it is here that the participants will learn the basics of serves, backhands, forehands, scoring rules, faults and aces. This workshop are for those who intend to take lawn tennis as a sport but the difference is that they will be on wheelchairs.
The Indian Wheelchair Tennis Tour, the initiative of Bengaluru-based NGO Astha, has organised a 2-day workshop on wheelchair tennis in Mumbai. Titled as the First Serve, the workshop is open for 25 interested para-sportsperson who aim to develop their proficiency in tennis.
The primary focus of the workshop is to create awareness about the movement techniques of sports wheelchair. As this type of wheelchair is different from the regular ones, a para athlete must know the technicalities for operating it while holding a racquet in one hand. Along with this, the participants will get to know about their fitness regime, proper diet and how to increase their upper body strength. They will also be made aware about rules of tennis, though most of them are same as that of court tennis.
Among the 25 participants, 10 will be selected to attend a 3-month weekend training programme in Mumbai. With this type of initiative, IWTT aims to create an awareness about wheelchair tennis in India and to produce a competitive environment among para athletes in the country.
The organisation has already conducted two national-level wheelchair tennis tournament in the last one year. The first tournament -Tabebuia Open was held in December 2016 in Bengaluru. It was India’s first ranking tournament for wheelchair tennis players. The second tournament, held in August 2017 in Chennai, was titled Marina Open. After the success of these two tournaments, IWTT is set to bring back the Tabebuia Open in Bengaluru from 1th-17th December 2017.
The effort of IWTT has drawn the attention of our premier tennis players. As Sania Mirza wishes “the tournament great success and hope that it will unearth fresh talent from India”, Rohan Bopanna is excited “to see wheelchair tennis developing in India.” Even Jordanne Whiley, Britain’s No 1 ranked wheelchair tennis player, is extremely “delighted that wheelchair tennis is being promoted in India.”