Congratulations to Odette Battarel, from South East London Vision (SELVis), for placing third in her category in the inaugural International Blind Tennis Tournament.

Odette, the Chief Executive of SELVis – a part of the Pocklington family – represented France in the women’s B3 singles category in the tournament in Spain earlier this month, placing third.

Odette was one of 70 players from 14 countries, including six players from Great Britain, who took part in the tournament.

Two Great Britain players, Chris Baily and Brenda Cassell, returned home with trophies also. Chris won the men’s B3 singles and Brenda finished runner-up in the women’s B2 singles.

Organised by the International Blind Tennis Association, the tournament took place in Alfaz del Pi in Spain from May 6-11.

Blind Tennis, also known as Soundball Tennis, is played on a smaller court than standard Odette Battarel holding her International Blind Tennis Tournament trophytennis with a sponge ball that makes a noise when it bounces. The standard rules of tennis apply with a few modifications, including being allowed three bounces if you’re totally blind and two bounces if you’re partially blind.

In the lead up to the tournament Odette said she was honoured to be selected to play for France.

“This is the very first International Blind Tennis Tournament. It means the start of the road towards the Paralympics. I hope that one day this sport will be Paralympic,” she said.

Odette has been playing blind tennis for 10 years and has helped introduce the sport to Germany and Ireland.

She said the sport was a great way to keep fit, meet new friends and meet players from all over the UK.

“The international event will help promote the sport and hopefully encourage more players to take it up, more coaches to coach, and more funding to help with the cost of running local clubs.”

Congratulations to Odette and all of the players who competed in the first International Blind Tennis Tournament!

For more information, visit http://ibta-takei.com/