Deaf Sports Events23rd October 2014

Nottingham to play host to inaugural World Deaf Tennis Championships in 2015

Championships will see Deaf tennis players from around the world compete for world crown

by Sarah Lawrence

The Tennis Foundation, Great Britain’s leading tennis charity, in association with UK Deaf Sport, today announced that it has been awarded the rights to host the inaugural World Deaf Tennis Championships, a new event for elite players, at Nottingham Tennis Centre from 20th to 27th July 2015.

Sanctioned by the International Committee of Sports for the Deaf (ICSD), the new World Championships enhances the existing calendar of major international deaf tennis events, which currently includes regional championships in Europe, AsiaPacific and the PanAmericas, as well as the Dresse and Maere Cups, the world team championships of deaf tennis. These regional championships and the Dresse and Maere Cups have traditionally been held on a different four-year cycle to the Summer Deaflympics, which also features five tennis medal events.

As well as men’s and women’s events, the inaugural World Championships will also feature a junior element as players can compete in the World Youth Championships.

Great Britain has a tradition of hosting international deaf tennis championships, having previously hosted the European Championships, the Dresse and Maere Cups, and three previous British Open Deaf Tennis Championships, the most recent being at Nottingham Tennis Centre in 2006.

“I am delighted that the Great Britain and the Tennis Foundation will make history in hosting the inaugural World Deaf Tennis Championships to begin an exciting new chapter for deaf tennis. I am especially pleased that Nottingham Tennis Centre will be the host venue, having been a tremendous partner facility at which we have staged a variety of highly successful world class disability tennis events over many years,” said Geoff Newton, Executive Director of the Tennis Foundation.

“I’ve had the idea for a new World Deaf Tennis Championships for individuals since 2010, because for several years we had only the regional championships, the Dresse and Maere Cup and the Deaflympics,” said Tobias Burz, the Technical Director for Tennis for the ICSD. “Many new deaf tennis nations have low numbers of players of each gender and therefore could not participate in the Dresse and Maere Cups and had to wait for the next championships. Now they have the new World Championships to work towards and I would like to send my great thanks to the Tennis Foundation and UK Deaf Sport for their willingness to organise the Championships in 2015.”

Bill Baillie, National Talent officer for UK Deaf Sport, commented: “UK Deaf Sport is delighted to work in partnership with the Tennis Foundation in securing the first World Deaf Tennis Championships. This is a great opportunity to look forward and increase the visibility of our talented deaf athletes and world class structures.  By bringing international deaf events to the UK as part of a 12-year Performance Strategy, this acts to inspire future talented athletes to reach their full potential in their chosen sports and fulfil their lifelong dreams of representing their country on the world stage.”

Today’s announcement comes after the Tennis Foundation held its latest Deaf Tennis Talent ID festival at the National Tennis Centre in London last weekend, with some of Great Britain’s experienced international players on hand to inspire new and developing players.

“It is very exciting to see international deaf tennis coming back to Nottingham Tennis Centre next year,” said Catherine Fletcher, two-time Deaflympic medallist and now the Tennis Foundation’s Great Britain National Deaf Tennis Coach. “I have my own very special memories of the British Open Deaf Championships in Nottingham in 2006, where I won the women’s singles after one of the most memorable matches of my career. With the new World Championships increasing the number of elite competitive opportunities for deaf players and our Talent ID day going another step towards increasing the number of  players, the latest generation of players now have another major target to aspire to.”


Additional Information

Deaf tennis has a long history in British tennis and playing the sport requires no adaption apart from making sure communication is clear between players, coaches and officials. People can play against other deaf tennis players, and alongside or against hearing friends and family. Several of Great Britain's leading deaf players play for their LTA counties, while some are also LTA licensed coaches. Find out more at

Under international criteria, to be eligible to compete in deaf tennis competitions, players must have an average hearing loss of 55 Decibels or more in the best ear. All players competing in deaf tennis events must remove all hearing aids before competing.

The Tennis Foundation is Great Britain's leading tennis charity and our vision of a sport which is inclusive and accessible to every kind of community. In partnership with the Lawn Tennis Association, we’re promoting tennis as an inclusive sport across a wide range of disabilities, supporting coaches and places to play to deliver tennis for disabled people and supporting over 40 Disability Tennis Networks across the country with training, resources and financial backing to improve opportunities for disabled people to play tennis in their area. We’re identifying and developing the most talented players and delivering a world class performance programme for our most promising players.  Find out more at or follow us on Twitter @TennisFndation.

UK Deaf Sport (UKDS) is a national registered charity and a federation of many deaf sports which aims to encourage deaf people to participate in, to enjoy and to excel at sport. Established in 2003, UK Deaf Sport has been a member of the International Committee of Sports for the Deaf (ICSD) since March 2006 and was granted membership of the European Deaf Sports Organisation (EDSO) in May 2006. Find out more at

The International Committee of Sports for the Deaf (ICSD) is the international federation for deaf sport and was founded as Comité International des Sports Silencieux (CISS) in Paris, France in 1924 following the first International Silent Games. The Games subsequently became the World Games for the Deaf and the most recent name, the Deaflympics, was formally adopted in 2001. The CISS was admitted into the International Olympic Committee, IOC, as an International Federation with Olympic standing in 1955. The ICSD oversees the organisation of the Deaflympics every four years and sanctions world championships for deaf athletes in a variety of sports in the interim years.  Find out more at

Article by Sarah Lawrence

posted in Deaf Sport / Deaf Sports Events

23rd October 2014