Five of Great Britain’s leading tennis players have been selected to compete for their country at the 2019 International Federation for Athletes with Intellectual Impairments (World Intellectual Impairment Sport) Global Games in Brisbane, Australia, from 12-19 October.
The selection of the British team is managed by the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA), with the team’s entry enabled through strong collaboration between them and the UK Sports Association (UKSA), the national World Intellectual Impairment Sport member.
Earlier this year, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) announced that it would be endorsing the tennis competitions at the World Intellectual Impairment Sport Global Games for the very first time.
Coached by Karen Ross, Dominic Iannotti, Fabrice Higgins, Thomas Mellor, Oliver Beadle and Anna McBride will go for titles.
Iannotti, Higgins and Mellor all played at the last World Intellectual Impairment Sport Global Games in 2015, where Great Britain walked away with four medals – including gold in the men’s team event. Since then they have continued on a successful streak, with the team winning an impressive three golds at the World Intellectual Impairment Sport Tennis World Championships in Paris, France, in 2018.
Anna McBride is the women’s singles champion whilst Ianotti and Higgins picked up the men’s doubles titles. McBride also teamed up with Ianotti to claim the mixed doubles gold.
Speaking of the team selection Ross commented:
“Great Britain is one of the leading nations for disability tennis and our record at previous World Intellectual Impairment Sport World Championships and World Intellectual Impairment Sport Global Games is proof of that. We’ve had some great success in the past few years and we’re excited to head out to Brisbane in October and continue our medal winning streak! I hope our team will inspire more people to pick up a racket and get involved with one of the many disability tennis sessions supported by the LTA across the UK.”
Tracey McCillen, Chief Executive of the UK Sports Association said:
“I am really excited to see what this team can do. Britain has consistently topped the table in tennis at World Intellectual Impairment Sport Championships and I have high hopes that this team will do the same. The Global Games is the pinnacle of World Intellectual Impairment Sport high performance events and I am proud of the work between UKSA and the LTA enabling players to achieve their ambitions at this level. Good luck to each and every one of the players. I know it will be a tough event, but I am confident you will represent Great Britain well.”
Alongside tennis, nine other sports will be contested in Brisbane. More than 1,000 athletes from around the world are expected to compete in the world’s biggest high performance sports event for athletes with an intellectual impairment.