As part of our aim to be fully inclusive to all, recent improvements to the club have included building a wheelchair accessible wet room in the clubhouse and adding a wheelchair ramp up to Courts 1 & 2. We have also recently added a ramp between main courts 2 & 4 and added ramps to access the clubhouse.
We have two Roma tennis specific wheelchairs and two multi-sport wheelchairs.
We have tactile court lines and special Soundballs for blind and visually impaired (VI) tennis sessions.
Joe Lake is the lead coach for our inclusive tennis sessions, as well as wheelchair and VI tennis specific sessions. Five of our coaches have also completed an LTA disability awareness course.
In 2016 we started working with Access Sport as part of their Ignite Programme. The Ignite Programme supports community sports clubs in disadvantaged areas to effectively engage disabled young people into sport (https://www.accesssport.org.uk/ignite). Through this we have undertaken outreach tennis coaching for John Dewey Independent College (part of Area 51 Education) in Wood Green, WAVE (We Are All Valued Equally) in Muswell Hill, Riverside School in Wood Green, Treehouse School in Muswell Hill, Haringey physiotherapy department at New River, an open day for SEN secondary schools at Copper Box Olympic Park and more recently at Finsbury Park celebration. Three hundred disabled youngsters have had access to tennis through Highgate’s outreach work.
Inclusive Tennis Coaching Sessions at Highgate
We run regular inclusive tennis coaching sessions. More details can be found here.
Blind tennis – playing and volunteering
We have had a strong partnership with Metro Blind Tennis (http://www.metroblindsport.org/) for a few years. Highgate provides the volunteers for their fortnightly Wednesday indoor sessions as well as organizing some outdoor sessions here at Highgate when the weather allows in the summer.
For more information on these sessions click here.