Accessibility Links

Tel: 0114 272 2757

Social Media Links


Photo of Janiece serving at tennis When our client Janiece lost her sight very suddenly one New Year’s Eve she realised she had two choices. She could accept it and live life the best way she could or stay at home and be a miserable person. “That’s not me. I still want to party,” she says. 

That’s not to say Janiece does not have her setbacks but she looks for way to turn negatives into positives. “There is no doom and gloom in my life, there is no room for it. If you find an obstacle in your life, walk around it.” 

It was that mindset of walking around an obstacle which led Janiece to play VI Tennis, a sport which now plays a big part in her life and has even taken her to the hallowed courts of Wimbledon.  

She had always been keen on exercising at the gym but after the Covid lockdowns people would get huffy with her if she accidentally moved closer to them than the two metres distance which was in operation at the time. 

She wanted to do something different so after contacting the RNIB she chose tennis and began with some coaching at the Brentwood Tennis Club in Nether Edge.  

“For me it was just a different way to stay fit, running around without falling over. I just wanted to run around and do some exercise. I didn’t play tennis before and I didn’t even know about the scoring and I wasn’t interested in it.” 

So it was quite a turnaround that very quickly Janiece found herself founding what became the South Yorkshire Visually Impaired Tennis Club so that other people could enjoy the benefits that she gained from playing the sport and the social life that goes with it. 

The club meets once a month at the Hallamshire Tennis Club at Hunter’s Bar usually on Saturdays and during the summer on Tuesday afternoons at Brentwood. They also play at the Hallamshire Tennis Club every Tuesday afternoon throughout wintertime. It shows how much of a need there is because people travel to the sessions from Nottingham, Wakefield and Leeds as well as the local area. 

Fundraising is a big issue for the club which keeps Janiece and the treasurer busy but she says SRSB has also been an amazing help especially in making her husband Dave a volunteer driver for the tennis club which enables them to take part in tournaments. 

A recent major achievement for Janiece was taking part in the National Finals of the first ever VI Tennis Tournament at Wimbledon. She was third placed lady in the B2 Category for severely sight impaired.  

“I had a ball at Wimbledon, it was great. It is always really nice to meet up with people, make friends. Anything to do with VI always has a really great social aspect.” 

Another first is that the club was invited to take part in the Sheffield and District Tennis Tournament this year and it also won a Tennis For All award in the Lawn Tennis Association regional awards. She also won Volunteer of the Year at the same awards. 

These successes have been hard won for Janiece since she lost her sight more than five years ago. She had only one eye since the age of four and then on New Year’s Eve had a retinal vein occlusion which damaged her remaining eye. 

She was introduced to SRSB’s Eye Clinic Liaison Officer at the hospital and got lots of help with technical services to help her get back to her career. In the end that did not work out and Janiece retrained in audio transcription. After the Covid lockdowns though she decided not to work anymore and focus instead on what she loves. 

“Walking, exercise anything to get me out and about. I am kind of living the dream now. I look for the positives – I never have to be the designated driver! My cup is always half full, never half empty even on days when I am not really feeling it, I still have to do something.” 

Photograph of a meeting in the centre

Please visit our Client Events page for all the latest telephone, online and in person events

Read more >
Photograph of a meeting in the centre

Please visit our Client Events page for all the latest telephone, online and in person events

Read more >

Sheffield Royal Society for the Blind links