News
An accessible experience at the Australian Open

January 25, 2024

On Tuesday 23 January, Clients and staff from Guide Dogs Victoria (GDV) enjoyed a day at the Australian Open (AO). For many of our Clients, this was their first time attending the annual event.

The group participated in the Blind Tennis demonstration on Show Court 3, where they got to have a hit with Robert Fletcher, a Blind Tennis player from Blind Sports and Recreation Victoria and GDV Client. After the demonstration, one of our student Clients was chosen to toss the coin before one of the junior boy’s singles matches, something that was made even more exciting when she got to keep the commemorative coin and AO tennis ball!

Some other highlights of the day were:

  • Clients from our Young Adults Program were able to upgrade their ground pass tickets to watch the quarter-final of the women’s and men’s singles.
  • Our five students put BindiMaps to the test to help them navigate their way to different courts within Melbourne Park and the Ball Park Kids’ Zone.
  • Our adult Guide Dog users and their dogs made good use of the service dog facilities
  • Our five students visited one of the designated sensory rooms to escape the heat and have some downtime exploring the different aspects of the room.
  • Some of our students made use of the kids ‘water zone’ to cool down on the water slides.
  • The opportunity to attend gave one of our secondary school Clients the motivation to challenge herself to independently catch the train for the first time from her home in the suburbs to the city; a very impactful and exciting milestone to achieve.

This program was supported by the Perpetual’s 2023 – IMPACT Philanthropy.

a young girl with a long brown ponytail tosses the coin on the blue tennis court with three male adults looking to see the result of the coin toss.

Image description: a young girl with a long brown ponytail tosses the coin on the blue tennis court with three male adults looking to see the result of the coin toss.

a group of children and adults all wearing blue and green shirts standing in the centre of a tennis court.

Image description: a group of children and adults all wearing blue and green shirts standing in the centre of a tennis court.

A group of seven adults and children standing outside the Sensory Room at the AO.

Image description: A group of seven adults and children standing outside the Sensory Room at the AO.

A lovely grassed area with white seats and a white umbrella, outside the First Aid building with a blue sign that says ‘Service Animal Relief Area’.

Image description: A lovely grassed area with white seats and a white umbrella, outside the First Aid building with a blue sign that says ‘Service Animal Relief Area’.



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