RDT introduces the hearing and speech impaired to tennis at BKS
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The Rural Development Trust is introducing tennis to the children of the Bukkarayasamudram High School for the Hearing and Speech Impaired. RDT has built a hard court facility, along with training the PE teacher and regularly training the students with support from the Nadal Education & Tennis School.

A gripping silence would catch you as you enter the Bukkarayasamudram (BKS) High School. This school is home to about 450 children who are constantly supported by the efforts of the Rural Development Trust (RDT) to promote education and opportunities for social integration.

RDT’s efforts to develop the children
One such effort of RDT is the recent setup of a hard court surface to train the children in tennis. RDT’s Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) team decided to introduce tennis to the sports curriculum at the BKS School for the Hearing and Speech Impaired. This has given the children the chance to learn a new sport, enjoy a different experience and above all, make the best of a new opportunity towards social integration through the sport.

Tennis connection with RDT
The RDT’s Anantapur Sports Village (ASV) is home to the Nadal Education & Tennis School (NETS), which has used tennis as a medium to holistically develop the children in the rural setting of Anantapur since 2010. NETS helped break the belief that ‘tennis was a sport cut for the richer segment of society’ but could also be accessed by the underprivileged.

NETS involvement at BKS
When the CBR team decided to introduce tennis at the BKS, NETS was enthusiastic in extending its full support to aid this cause. It provided technical support while setting up the hard surface tennis court from October 2014 until its completion in August 2015. They provided further assistance to the tennis programme by assigning one of their volunteers to visit the school on a weekly basis to train the children of the school while simultaneously training their PE teacher to train the children during the week. In addition to this, NETS was kind enough to provide the school with the highest standard tennis racquets, balls and nets along with additional training equipment.

NETS volunteer teaching the children the basics of tennis

The result
These hearing and speech impaired children have taken up the sport of tennis like no other, absolutely enjoying their sessions. The training has brought about a change among these children who initially were shy, but now are more eager and look forward to every session as well as the opportunity to interact with the trainers and their own peers.

The way ahead
These children will continue to be nurtured at BKS through the concept of ‘Unified Sport’ that gradually encourages these children to gel with mainstream society through sport, while continually educating them and providing these children with technical training and trades like carpentry, cooking, gardening, jute work and handicrafts. The CBR, in alliance with the Special Olympics Bharat, spots talent among these children, of whom some will be chosen for the Special Olympics Tennis programme and may eventually get an opportunity to represent the country at the Special Olympics World Games.

[This article has been edited by the Operating Team]




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