HLA – INCLUSIVE TENNIS
- Brief description
- Context and needs
- Activities and rules
- Location, environment and equipment
- Side Activities
Inclusive tennis activity is an semi individual approach in which coach is dedicated to only 2 or 4 participants – 1 or 2 non-disabled and 1 or 2 disabled child under age 13. Activity is composed as a tennis training program in which coaches teaches participants basic tennis elements in a pace according to their capabilities. Activity can be carried out on a tennis court with only tennis racquet and tennis balls needed. Specifics of the inclusive activity is that coaches conduct the training for non-disabled and disabled children at the same time. The benefit of such training is that participants communicate together and create an inclusive environment but also non-disabled children can help coaches in demonstrating and educating disabled children. Depending on the capabilities and potential of the participants, coach can create and modify exercises to ensure harmonic growth of technical-motorial-emotional-cognitive skills of the group.
Inclusive tennis puts all participants in a position to express their full potential. Since training exercise is for both children with and without disabilities, the benefits are manifold:
- Children with disabilities have equal access and with help of children without disabilities can more easily perform basic elements of tennis;
- Children without disabilities gain a sense of awareness of the needs of children with disabilities and are able to help them in achieving their potential;
- Both children with and without disabilities experience growth of technical-motorial-emotional-cognitive skills within their capabilities;
- Coaches skills improve in creativity (ability to create and adapt exercises to a specific group) as well as knowledge about sports for able-bodied and for people with impairment.
Activity is performed as a training program in 4 parts: warm-up, main part A, main part B and friendly match. In all training exercise non-disabled children perform first in order to demonstrate the element to disabled children.
Warm-up – participants run the lines of the tennis court to warm-up. Coach can determine how many laps will be ran according to the group and individual possibilities.
Main A – each participant holds its racquet in their dominant hand face-up, like a frying pan, and have them place a tennis ball on the face, or strings of their racquet. Then, have them slowly start moving the head of the racquet up and down until the ball begins bouncing on their strings. Once it starts bouncing, have them keep it bouncing for as long as possible.
Main B – simple forehand and backhand stroke exercise in which participant toss the ball from their hand to the floor and after it bounces, they need to hit the ball to the other side of the court. For non-disabled children, an upgrade to exercise can be added if coach throws the balls instead as it is more difficult because participants need to start judging ball speed, move their feet a little and focus on their timing.
Friendly match – a friendly match in pairs in which each pair is consisted of non-disabled and disabled children. Since playing regular tennis match may be too difficult, in inclusive tennis match the goal is to have as many pass exchanges as possible between the two teams. There are no winners as the focus is on togetherness, not on competition
Location: Outdoor/indoor tennis field
Equipment: tennis racquets, tennis balls
The main method of the activity is in coaches’ creativity in adapting training exercise and to motivate participants to engage in sport activities. By having an individual approach coach, by adapting exercise, puts every participant in a position to express their full potential and also enable increase in technical-motorial-emotional-cognitive skills. Coach is in constant communication with participants which motivates both disabled and non-disabled children and enhances them to feel relaxed with a sense of belonging.
Both disabled and non-disabled children have the best possibility to increase their skills through individual approach and at the same time they communicate together while performing exercises, learn from each other and learn new skills while having fun.
Also, there is no competition in exercises which makes the emphasis on participation and togetherness, not on competition with focus on promoting equal access, socialization and health.g.
Activity should include parents as well so side activity is focused on tennis exercise played between parents and children after the main activity. In the side activity children can show their parents what they have learned during the activity through a simple exchange in passes between parents and children. Both child and parent have a tennis racquet and they are 20m apart and the goal is to exchange as many passes between participants. There is no net required like in main activity so the side activity can be carried out anywhere in outdoor as long as the surface is flat. Also, at break between the exchanges in passing they need to discuss what they liked about the training exercise with the coach. With side activity parents will be aware about the importance of social inclusion and integration of children in sport. It will improve communication skills between parents and children (both non-disabled and disabled children).
Non disabled children under age 13 – 1-2 players
Disabled children under age 13 –1-2 players
Tennis coaches and associates from sports organizations – 1 coach
With the semi-individual approach non-disabled children, apart from performing training exercises, become educators, motivators and facilitators to children with disabilities so they become more aware about their needs.
For children with disabilities added value is in making new friendships and bonding through an individual approach with both coaches and other participants.
Coaches learn more about the needs of children with disabilities and gain experience on creating and adapting inclusive tennis exercises.
With side activities parents spend quality time with their children which not only benefits to their relationship, but improves their health as they also exercise by playing tennis with their children.
PlayInc Key Aspects
Inclusive tennis meets key aspect by promoting a tennis training in which 1 coach is dedicated to 1-2 children with disabilities in a semi-individual environment. In such environment coaches can focus more on the needs of participants and allows them to express their potential. It also has more benefits to their technical-motorial-emotional-cognitive skills than practicing sport activities in group as well as it creates a sense of belonging as the approach is more intimate.
For coaches it improves creativity in creating and adapting activities and they can modify exercises and according to participants potential. Coaches learn new methods about sports for able-bodied and for people with impairment with experience in practical approach in working with children and children with disabilities. In individual approach they improve their motivation skills as well.
Side activities are beneficial for both parents and children as it puts emphasis on participation and togetherness, not on competition but also creating environment based on fun and joy.
Contact the organisation
Name: Health Life Academy Association (HLA)