The most unique aspect of Get Into Cardio Tennis has got to be the removal of many obstacles people report when trying to access tennis as a sport – booking a court, accessing the key, crossing the threshold of the tennis club, lacking skills or concerns about inadequate fitness levels. These issues have all been addressed in the design of the new program and are some of the key drivers as to why Get Into Cardio Tennis is a low-impact, introductory level program that is done in local parks.
In the development of the program, we’ve also been wondering how we can make the program even more accessible, to meet the needs of people with physical and/or intellectual disabilities. Thanks to our friends at Maccabi Victoria’s All Abilities Team and Jewish Care, we’ve been able to test the program at a couple of pilot sessions during June.
Maccabi Victoria in partnership with Jewish Care offer an exercise group on a Thursday evening in Caulfield for some of their members. We ran two Get Into Cardio Tennis sessions to test its suitability, and offer the group a fun, social workout. The game-based nature of the program meant that the participants were able to get involved in the activities in a way that suited their level of ability, and everyone had a lot of success.
One participant, Uri, mentioned that he particularly enjoyed the ‘goalie’ activity because it allowed him to tap into his golf skills which he hadn’t put into practice for many years.
Shari Cohen, All Abilities Inclusion Coordinator at Maccabi Victoria said, ‘It’s great to be able to offer our members a variety of activities and this one is certainly a lot of fun’.
We’re looking forward to further developing our plans to roll out Get Into Cardio Tennis to people with disabilities, as well as exploring its suitability for other groups such as older adults and newly arrived residents.