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  • Northside West

Everyone for tennis

Sunday, 10th September, 2017 1:00pm
Everyone for tennis

Pictured at the Tennis Camp Weekend are (l-r): Diarmuid O’Donovan, St Michael’s House Staff, Adult Autism Day Service; Mark Ennis (Raheny) SMH service user; Johnny O’Farrell (Santry) SMH service user; Liam Lawless (Swords) SMH service user; Jim Watt , from the Ulster Branch of Tennis Ireland and Dir

Everyone for tennis

Pictured at the Tennis Camp Weekend are (l-r): Diarmuid O’Donovan, St Michael’s House Staff, Adult Autism Day Service; Mark Ennis (Raheny) SMH service user; Johnny O’Farrell (Santry) SMH service user; Liam Lawless (Swords) SMH service user; Jim Watt , from the Ulster Branch of Tennis Ireland and Dir

STAFF and service users from St Michael’s House teamed up with Tennis Ireland for a weekend of sport last month at the National Tennis Centre in DCU.

St Michael’s House is one of Ireland’s largest providers of community-based services for children and adults with an intellectual disability.

And its partnership with Tennis Ireland has resulted in the ‘Enjoy Tennis’ programme, which aims to promote the inclusion of players of all abilities in tennis.

The programme was originally designed to include those with disabilities in their local clubs, and due to its success, Tennis Camp Weekends, a form of respite care, were launched last year.

This year’s Camp Weekend was another huge success, and Anna Shakespeare, CEO of St Michael’s House, said the partnership with Tennis Ireland fitted in with her organisation’s strategic plan of building community and supporting independence.

“With ‘Enjoy Tennis’ and the Tennis Camp Weekends, service users are choosing to get away for a break with their friends, doing something that they are interested in, in a community based environment,” she added.

“They are accessing opportunities for personal development, such as building confidence, encouraging independence and socialisation.

“We are united with Tennis Ireland is advancing strategies for inclusion.

“We very much look forward to continuing and strengthening our relationship with Tennis Ireland now and in the future.”

This year, players from Adult Autism Services also took part in the programme

Playing tennis since May 2016, the players have been making incredible progresses with the support of Tennis Ireland coaches and St Michael’s House staff.

The group have also been involved in demonstrating their tennis skills during disability inclusion training from tennis coaches.

Sarah Hewitt, Leisure Centre Manager, at St Michael's House said partnering with Tennis Ireland has resulted in a model that meets a range of needs and allows for the natural development of a person's sporting hobby.

“This is an opportunity for players to demonstrate their sports skills and their abilities,” she added. “We are grateful and delighted to work with Tennis Ireland and the 'Enjoy Tennis' camps.”

Over the past two years, the ‘Enjoy Tennis’ programme has grown, developed and delivered initiatives for more than 750 players with disabilities across 55 clubs nationally.

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here