Playing tennis blind

Going entirely by the sound of the ball, these players have been smashing misconceptions about the blind.

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Close your eyes. Now let's play tennis

If you play tennis, you’ll know it’s not the easiest game to master.

There’re a multitude of things to consider simultaneously: ball speed, bounce and spin, your position, your opponent’s position, footwork, swing, follow through, getting into position for the next shot.

Now imagine doing all that without seeing.

That’s what Wei Lian, Wai Yee, Steady, Hock Bee, Ivni and their friends do.

Frustrating fun

Helped by a group of dedicated volunteers, the blind friends spend Saturday mornings playing the sport of soundball — tennis played with special balls that rattle when they bounce.

It’s hard work, and often frustrating.

But you wouldn’t know it watching them.

They’re clearly happy to play and there’s a lot of joy, enthusiasm and mutual encouragement during the practice sessions, along with obvious determination as they drill backhands across the net in a tireless effort to get better.

If you’re keen to help coach or otherwise support the blind tennis players, email Soundball. They’d love to hear from you.

Filmed and edited by Anshul Tiwari
Produced by Ashima Thomas
Text by Joshua Lye
Featuring music by King Kong Jane

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