As the CEO of national charity The British Polio Fellowship, I was delighted to discover the All England Club has announced that Wimbledon will now feature a wheelchair tennis singles event for men and women, from 2016.
Our charity is one of Britain’s first to focus on disabilities, and now with many of our members living with a legacy of immobility as a result of Polio and/or Post Polio Syndrome (PPS), our focus on accessibility for all has never been more important.
This is a significant step forward for the world of tennis but an even bigger one for wheelchair users and those with mobility issues across the globe. The decision taken by the All England Club demonstrates there are no limits to what someone who uses a wheelchair can achieve. With such a high profile tennis tournament acknowledging the need for there to be representation of the wheelchair community in sport, I call on other major sporting events to take the same action.
I am sure Wimbledon will be making sure that plenty of wheelchair users will be able to access the stadium to watch the tournament in person, which is equally as important as making the competition available to a global television audience.
Hats off to Wimbledon; this is progress indeed. Other global sporting events, please take note.Yours faithfully
Ted Hill MBE
CEO, The British Polio Fellowship