Semi-permanent tennis has returned to Italy and is seeking recognition with the aim of the Paralympic Games

The second indicative tournament took place from 29 April to 1 May, organized by Sportdipiù at the initiative of former ice hockey champion Gregory Liberdi, but approval by the International Tennis Federation must be regular.

Good 28 athletes from 12 different countries (Italy, Brazil, Chile, Sweden, Austria, Spain, the United Kingdom, Argentina, Denmark, France, Japan and the United States) for four continents represented (Europe, Asia, North America and South America): those reached The second edition of the Para Permanent Demonstration Tennis Championship Organized by Sportdipiù, the first sports federation to bring the discipline to the national territory. The demonstration took place From April 30th to May 1st At the Monviso Sport Club in Grugliasco, in the first belt of Turin.

What is Para Tennis?
Paragraph parking tennis is a copy of Paralympic tennis is played standing up: currently managed byInternational Disabled Tennis Associationan association headed by the Spaniards Ivan Corretja (brother of the famous Alex, former ATP World No. 2, ed.), whose legacy he inherited from the TAP World Tour, an international circuit that ran aground during the pandemic; Based on the results obtained through the world census, there are currently about 300 active athletes, however, since there is still no internationally recognized classification, In order to be able to play, the association had to “invent” classes based on the type of motor disability the athletes had: those with upper limb or similar disabilities (amputations or deformities of one or both arms) were grouped in the class Pacific Time 1Those who have had a lower limb amputation below the knee or similar in class Pacific Time 2, Those whose leg was amputated above the knee or similar in class Pacific Time 3 and those with achondroplasia (a typical clinical condition of ‘dwarfism’) or similar in class Pacific Time 4; For the last two links they are allowed as in wheelchair tennis.
A man with a prosthetic left leg plays tennis standing up
Application for international recognition
The ultimate goal of the association is Entry for the permanent paragraph of tennis in the Paralympic GamesFirst as a system experimental After practice, and then as a sport Official within the game programme. To achieve this goal, however, A green light is required from the International Tennis Federation (ITF), which currently only recognizes the wheelchair version.
In short, promoters want to get what they are already a reality for table tennis And to get Badmintonwhere The wheelchair version is surrounded by standing For a long time: “Association – Corretja confirms – It was created to prove to major international institutions such as the ITF, but also to national federations, that the sport of tennis is a movement that cannot be ignored: it is their duty to organize it, to imitate the great work that has been done with the wheelchair, because we cannot do it. They must do this quickly because in the world there are many people with disabilities who play stand-up tennis and many children who dream of participating in the Paralympic Games. But who can’t do that at present.”

Turin championship
A disturbed tennis player with an upper extremity disabilityIn light of what has just been described, the Turin championship He had not yet been able to obtain official recognition, which is why he had to impose himself as a title Demonstration event. Sportdipiù was to bring outstanding tennis to Italy, thanks to great perseverance and great organizational vision Former ice hockey champion (European Championship, fourth place in the Pyeongchang Paralympic Games 2018 and several Scudetti and Italy Cups with the Sitting Bulls Club team) and the current Vice President of the International Paralympic Tennis Federation, Gregory Liberdy.
The latter, in particular, is optimistic about the possibility of an agreement with the ITF: “We are in constant contact with them – comment – And they already told each other available to support us Grant us the upcoming events motto: details yet to be decided, but this is definitely a step forward. Our fight wants to lead to one Direct management of semi-standing tennis by the ITF, as is already the case for the wheelchair: The elements in our favor are many and include the number of athletes and the fact that, In the world, only 10% of people with disabilities use a wheelchair. Having this long-awaited official job will be important because, at the moment, strong athletes are excluded from the Paralympics just because they have no arm.”

For the record, one of the two women won the singles competition PST 1-2 (categories grouped to allow for more draws to be created) Thalitta Silva Rodriguesable to defeat the veteran Frank Breno In the semifinals to 4-6 7-6 10-5 the Austrian Thomas Richkindler In the final 6-4 7-5. The other winners were the Americans Daniel Robert Author (singular PST 3-4), the Austrians Wolfgang Plame and Matthias Hall (Double PST 1-2) and the Chilean-Argentine duo Luis Andres Vinales Hidalgo and Javier Spiresvani (double pst 3-4).

Mark Burton

Image credits: Sergio and Filippo Errigo for OneWaySport

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