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Soundball Singapore holds inaugural Blind Tennis National Tournament

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Soundball Singapore's 1st National Tournament 2016 came to a close with Guest of Honour Kevin Wong - President of the Singapore Disability Sports Council (SDSC) awarding the winners of the inaugural competition their first ever National Soundball (Blind Tennis) trophies and medals at the prize-giving ceremony on Saturday, 5th November 2016.


Photo: Soundball Singapore

Kevin Wong of Singapore Disability Sports Council (SDSC)'s graced the finals with his presence to support the development of disabled sports in Singapore, specifically Soundball Blind Tennis. ~ “We view SDSC and Soundball Singapore as partners collaborating to bring this sport to the visually impaired community. The focus is not just on the development of Blind Tennis as a competitive sport but also to create an avenue for social integration within the wider visually impaired community.”

Years of effort to inculcate and promote the sport have led to the first Soundball Blind Tennis National Tournament thanks to co-founder Kenneth Ng, the team of dedicated coaches and approximately forty volunteers.

“We hope that the wider community will come to learn more about the plights and hurdles of players with visual disabilities. Just like any sighted person, a visually impaired person can also scale greater heights. Soundball is more than a sport. Over the years, Soundball has changed the lives of our players, and nurtured them to believe in themselves and to stay motivated despite obstacles. This has not only improved their self assurance but also changed their outlook in life and gave them the confidence to take on any challenges. When I see our players, I don’t see any disability – I only see ability,” said Kenneth.


Photo: Soundball Singapore

Why not wear a blindfold when playing Tennis and literally “wear the shoes of a player” having to rely on hearing alone when in training or in competition. “It does require much self-reliance, dedicated commitment” and a “can-do aptitude” to hit with a tennis racquet in one hand, “feel where their footing lies along the taped-lines” and “hear the rattle” as the Soundball flies into the court in front; or run when it is served “wide to the side”. These very attributes can be found in all the players that have stayed with the training over the years.

Soundball Singapore saw 100% attendance on competition morning despite a heavy rainfall at the early start. Indeed it has been a rewarding experience to say the least for the teams and their families to witness how far each visually impaired player has grown in terms of their full capabilities and potential in the sport of Blind Tennis. There was a sheer sense of determination and energy in the air when the players competed with each other for the ultimate prize to represent Singapore at the 2017 International Blind Tennis Tournament in London, UK. Yet, all had fun and fitness at the same time. 


Photo: Soundball Singapore

B1 winner, Ong Hock Bee, 51 who is fully blind, along with B2 & B3 winners, Marc Chiang and Jessen Ng respectively are partially blind, will have their day and opportunity to compete on the international stage in April 2017 and represent Singapore in the International Blind Tennis Tournament. 

“London - Here we come”!

This article was contributed by Kenneth Ng, Co-founder, Soundball Singapore.


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