Tennis Australia has partnered with Special Olympics Australia to make tennis more accessible for players with intellectual disabilities and autism.
The Tennis Australia-Special Olympics Australia deal aims to improve access to tennis for people with intellectual disabilities and autism from 2021-2024.
The partnership aims to ensure the more than 850,000 Australians with an intellectual impairment or autism, an often-isolated community, is welcomed and offered a range of opportunities to experience the many benefits that tennis provides.
The collaboration between Tennis Australia and Special Olympics Australia will focus on the following four key areas:
School programs and events: Delivering tennis programs and events for specialist, special education units and mainstream schools for students who have intellectual disabilities and/or autism.
Coach development: Developing the capability of grassroots tennis coaches to enable the delivery of quality, inclusive programs.
Club engagement: Connecting tennis clubs to the Special Olympics movement through Special Olympics Australia’s Affiliate Program.
Tournaments: Delivering co-branded state and national tournaments and events for players with intellectual disabilities and/or autism.
“Sport is a vital part of our Australian culture and this partnership between Tennis and Special Olympics is another way to increase access to participation and competitive opportunities for players with intellectual impairments and autism,” Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley said.
“At Tennis Australia we strive to be open and welcoming to all. Working with Special Olympics will help us provide more avenues for all people, and all-abilities, to play our great sport.”
Learn more about Tennis Australia’s inclusion programs here.
“We’re proud to continue our partnership with Tennis Australia,” Special Olympics Australia CEO Pierre Comis said.
“Our collaboration on a range of participation initiatives will improve opportunities for more people with intellectual disabilities to get involved in tennis.
“Tennis is an important and popular sport within Special Olympics as it caters for players of all skill levels and players of all ages.
You can learn more about Special Olympics Australia here.
“Tennis is a sport for life which is fun to learn, and which delivers lifelong health outcomes for participants,” Mr. Comis said.
“Our continued partnership with Tennis Australia will build the capability of tennis coaches to be more inclusive and create greater opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities to take part and form a lifelong connection to sport.”