Molik marvels at low-vision tennis players – Blue Mountains Gazette

Former Australian Open quarter-finalist Alicia Molik has thrown her support behind the greater inclusion in tennis of blind and low-vision players.
As disabled athletes gain increasing profile around the world, Molik believes it’s important for visually challenged tennis players to be given opportunities.
A former No.8 and Australia’s incumbent Billie Jean King Cup captain took to the court with Blind & Low Vision Australian B2 Champion Courtney Webeck and B3 champion Mick Leigh to showcase the sport in a new light.
Wearing blackout simulation glasses to simulate the game from the perspective of a person living with a vision impairment, Molik said the experience was priceless.
“It’s given me a new-found appreciation for blind and low-vision tennis and the need for growth in this code,” said the Mastercard ambassador.
“Throughout my career, I’ve been tested during matches but this felt like a totally different ball game.
“The most challenging part for me, while simulating the lived experiences of a person living with a vision impairment, was picking up the sound when the ball was in flight.
“It made me feel like I was very incapable of a skill that ordinarily I’d be an expert at.”
With different codes of tennis gaining awareness and traction, 57 per cent of Australians living with a disability say it is important for them to have role models represented in sport.
Representation is not only key for ensuring people living with a disability feel included, but to help them feel inspired to participate (37 per cent).
Beyond this, Australians living with a disability believe education (86 per cent), awareness (76 per cent), and major events (75 per cent) have the power to make people living with a disability feel more included.
A blind and low-vision tennis match is scheduled to take place during the first week of this month’s Australian Open in Melbourne after Mastercard funded a Blind Sports Australia (BSA) grant to grow the game at a grassroots level.
Australian Associated Press
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