Blind children learn to play tennis
Photo: Video by fox4now.com
NAPLES, Fla.- Soundball tennis began in London in 2007 and now one Collier County non-profit is introducing the sport to children who are visually impaired or blind in Naples.
Sarah Hardwig hits the tennis court with a smile. She can't see the court, but that doesn't keep her from getting in the game.
"Tennis is really complicated sport, but now with a ping pong ball inside the tennis ball it's pretty cool playing tennis when you're blind," said Sarah Hardwig.
Lighthouse of Collier is running a summer camp. They're a non-profit dedicated to helping the blind or visually impaired in Collier County. On Monday, they introduced campers to soundball tennis. Inside the tennis ball is a ping pong ball and inside the ping pong ball are ball bearings which allow the ball to rattle.
"People that are blind can hear the ball. Every time it hits or rolls you know where the ball is," said
10-year-old Xavian Capers.
Sarah and other campers focus on their stronger senses like hearing.
"My ears, my ears, that's probably the best sense," said Hardwig.
For 12-year-old Tommy Mondelus the camp allows him to make friends. He recalls how others would tease him in the past because he wears glasses.
"The camp is really special to me because when I was younger people use to make fun of me. Here I feel like people really understand me," said Mondelus.
Sports like tennis teach kids confidence on the court and off.
"Through that experience, gain self esteem and to know their lack of vision won't prohibit them in the future from obtaining their goals," said Kathleen Peck, Lighthouse of Collier Executive Director.
For more information you can visit www.lighthouseofcollier.org.