The International Federation for Athletes with Intellectual Impairments (World Intellectual Impairment Sport) has announced that tennis competitions at the 2019 World Intellectual Impairment Sport Global Games in Brisbane, Australia, from 12-19 October, will be endorsed by the International Tennis Federation (ITF).
It is the first time that the ITF have recognised an World Intellectual Impairment Sport Global Games in this way and joins the support of four other International Federations – the International Table Tennis Federation, World Taekwondo, World Para Athletics and World Para Swimming.
World Intellectual Impairment Sport President Marc Truffaut said: “We are absolutely delighted to receive the backing of the International Tennis Federation for Brisbane 2019 in another historic first for a Global Games.
“It shows that a growing number of sports governing bodies are seeing the value in the supporting the world’s biggest high performance sports event for athletes with an intellectual impairment.
“The calibre of the event this October – from both and competition and organisational perspective – is expected to be the best yet. This news adds to that feeling as the countdown continues.”
ITF President, David Haggerty, said: “The World Intellectual Impairment Sport Global Games are a fantastic event which the ITF is delighted to endorse. The ITF is committed to ensuring the long-term growth and sustainability of tennis as a sport to be enjoyed by all ages and abilities. Good luck to all of the athletes competing in the 2019 Games.”
Robyn Smith, Chief Executive Officer of the Global Games Company, said: “The letter of endorsement from ITF for the World Intellectual Impairment Sport Global Games Tennis event is not only historical for World Intellectual Impairment Sport and the Global Games, but excellent recognition for the outstanding players who will compete in Brisbane in October 2019.”
The 2019 World Intellectual Impairment Sport Global Games are expected to attract 1,000 athletes from around the world.
Table tennis, overseen by the International Table Tennis Federation, will see athletes able to achieve ranking points for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics according to the ITTF’s factor 20 status for the first time.
The other Paralympic sports on the Global Games programme – swimming and athletics – will be recognised by World Para Swimming and World Para Athletics respectively.
Para taekwondo, governed by World Taekwondo, will also be sanctioned.
Basketball, cycling, futsal, rowing, cricket and hockey competitions will act as the World Championships for each sport, with World Intellectual Impairment Sport acting as the current International Federation.
More information about the World Intellectual Impairment Sport Global Games can be found at the official website or at www.inas.org. Entries for 2019 are currently open.