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Serving Up Inclusion at the Australian Open 2024

Lily Mills swings a net with the ball in mid-air.
Lily Mills competing at the 2019 Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi.

At the Australian Open 2024, players of differing abilities will soon take to the courts to compete at the second edition of the Players with Intellectual Impairments (PWII) Championship.

“Tennis is my life. I play every day and it gives me loads of confidence.”
Lily Mills

From 26 to 28 January, Special Olympics will be represented by five players at the PWII tournament taking place during the Australian Open.

Included in the line-up of players is 23-year-old Lily Mills, from Special Olympics Great Britain, who will contest the women’s 2024 PWII Championships at Melbourne Park. Special Olympics Australia is proudly represented by three players in the tournament, including Kelly Wren, Mitchell James and Carla Lenarduzzi. While Sophia Schmidt from Special Olympics Germany is in action in the women’s section of the PWII over an exciting few days of tennis.

Meanwhile, All Abilities Day on Tuesday, 23 January will showcase different forms of inclusive tennis. These include Wheelchair Tennis, Blind and Low Vision Tennis (BLV), Deaf and Hard of Hearing Tennis (DHOH), and tennis for Players with an Intellectual Impairment (PWII).

A group of players from across the Wheelchair, DHOH, PWII and Para Standing Tennis (also known as Adaptive Standing Tennis) will also take part in an exhibition match on the Kia Arena at Melbourne Park.

Lily Mills has already been getting used to attracting media attention ahead of her Australian Open debut. Tennis ace Lily, who won a gold and bronze medal for Team Special Olympics Great Britain at last summer’s Special Olympics Berlin Games, says playing tennis means everything to her. “Tennis is my life,” said Lily. “I play every day and it gives me loads of confidence.”

Keep track of all the coverage and results updates right here.

BBC - Britain's Lily Mills Set for Australian Open Intellectual Impairment Event

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