Ten­nis can be wheelie fun for every­one

Tablelands Advertiser - - NEWS -

By Bec Singh PEO­PLE with dis­abil­i­ties on the Tablelands are be­ing en­cour­aged to roll into the Mareeba Ten­nis Club and em­u­late their on-court heroes.

Dis­abled and able-bod­ied par­tic­i­pants tried wheel­chair ten­nis at the club on Wed­nes­day at an event called Run and Roll.

It was of­fi­cially opened by Mareeba Shire coun­cil­lor An­gela Top­pin and Tablelands Re­gional Coun­cil Mayor Joe Paronella, who both had a go.

“It is such a great ini­tia­tive for peo­ple in wheel­chairs to have a chance to ex­er­cise and so­cialise while play­ing ten­nis,” said Cr Paronella.

“This was quite an ex­pe­ri­ence, it was not easy to play in a wheel­chair but it was a ter­rific way to take part. It was great work­ing with Mareeba Shire Coun­cil and we want to con- tinue to work with Mareeba Shire to highlight the sport for dis­abled peo­ple.

“I was ex­cited to see the bud­ding ath­letes and all the peo­ple and vis­i­tors em­brac­ing those with a dis­abil­ity.”

Cr Top­pin said she ad­mired the skills of peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties and ev­ery­thing they do.

“I was only in a wheel­chair for a lit­tle while, but I take my hat off to you,” she said.

Spin­ners In­clu­sive Sports Far North rep­re­sen­ta­tive An­gela Wil­lett said it was great to di­ver­sify the sports avail­able to peo­ple of all abil­i­ties.

“It brings in­clu­sion on a ground level for sports and recre­ation ac­tiv­i­ties,” she said.

Ten­nis Queens­land Far North Queens­land rep­re­sen­ta­tive Jen Rees said the event was a new ini­tia­tive in­tro­duced to the re­gion by Fresh­wa­ter Ten­nis and it was a great way for fam­i­lies to bond.

“This is our in­au­gu­ral event dur­ing Dis­abil­ity Ac­tion Week and we have a new found re­spect for peo­ple in wheel­chairs,” she said.

“Due to this event we have found we need the gates at the club to be wider and bet­ter ramps to be in­stalled.

“We have also learned the wheel­chair ramps at Lake Eacham are too steep and will need to be im­proved.”

Ms Rees said this event would not have been pos­si­ble with­out the sup­port and grants from Cairns Re­gional Coun­cil and the Depart­ment of Com­mu­ni­ties, Child Safety and dis­abil­ity ser­vices.

Par­a­lympians Heath David­son and Kee­gan Oh-Chee both shared their in­spir­ing sto­ries with spec­ta­tors. For more in­for­ma­tion on play­ing ten­nis or get­ting in­volved with the Mareeba Ten­nis club visit www.fresh­wa­terten­nis.org.

Pic­tures: Bec Singh

Chil­dren get­ting into the spirit of wheel­chair ten­nis at the Run and Roll at the Mareeba Ten­nis Club.

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