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Leeds Beckett coach guides GB Blind and Visually Impaired Tennis to Gold in 2018 World Championships

Carnegie Coach Education Manager Louise Assioun was among the Team GB coaches that led the team to six Gold Medals in Dublin

Team GB’s Blind Tennis team won an incredible six out of seven possible Golds at the DLR TAKEI 2018 International Blind Tennis Tournament in Dublin.

The team is managed by leading British Tennis charity – The Tennis Foundation – which includes Leeds Beckett’s own Louise Assioun.

Leeds Beckett works alongside the Leeds Disability Network –focusing on providing coach education and performance pathways for athletes – of which Louise has been heavily involved in.

Louise’s hard work and dedication to supporting athletes has seen her at the forefront of many projects including her work with the British Tennis Foundation - which she is a key figure of.

Louise’s dedication to visually impaired athletes saw her write the module for how to coach visually impaired athletes as part of the Tennis Foundation’s coaching courses.

Leeds Beckett has also played an important part in the development of many disabled athletes with Wheelchair Tennis players Ant Cottrill and Ed Holt having trained regularly as part of the tennis club.

Beckett has also helped develop disabled athletes and coaches with many athletes going on to achieve their level 1 and level 2 coaching courses – including Rosie Pybus

Team GB’s Success

Team GB competed over four days at the Dublin event which saw them claim six gold medals and one silver between them.

Dublin was host to over 60 players from 14 countries competing across four categories in their bid to be crowned champion of their division. The four categories ranged from B1 (Blind) to Open (B4/B5 partially sighted).

Coach Louise Assioun praised her team..

“I’m really proud of the players and to have been selected as a coach for the World Championships,” she said.

“I thought the Championships were a great opportunity for the players to represent their country.

“I think that the success we had – of winning 6 Golds and a Silver – came off of the back of all of the hard work and dedication from the Foundation, the coaches and the players and really shows how good our programme is.”

Congratulations to medallists:

Gold: Rachel-Eve Morgan – London (B1 Ladies)

Gold: Amanda Large – Manchester (B2 Ladies)

Gold: Janette Reynolds – London (B3 Ladies)

Gold: James Currie – Manchester (B2 Men)

Gold: Paul Ryb – London (B3 Men)

Gold: Chris Baily – Uckfield (Open)

Silver: Rosie Pybus – Middlesbrough (Open)

Visually impaired Tennis seeking Paralympic recognition

Louise is a member of the International Blind Tennis Association’s Technical Committee. The association is working hard to get Visually Impaired Tennis recognised as an official Paralympic sport and have been campaigning for two years.

This version of Tennis adapts full court rules to a smaller court with a lower net. Players use an audible ball so they can hear when the ball bounces and when it has been hit –and depending on a player’s sight ability – players are allowed up to three bounces before they must return the ball back to their opponent.

The Tennis Foundation will be delivering three taster sessions this year as part of the British Blind Sport ‘Have a Go Days’ and Louise will be leading the session in York on the 24th June as part of the Junior Festival in the city to help inspire juniors take part in the sport.

Congratulations to Louise, the Tennis Foundation and the team on their success in the World Championships!

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