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Image of ambassador Annette Leishman

Meet Blind Sports and Recreation Victoria Ambassador, Annette

Annette shares her story of connecting with BSRV and the blind and low vision community.

"For my whole life, I wanted to play tennis and be a member of a sports team. For a long time, it was only a dream because I have Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), an eye condition that leads to blindness. When I moved to Melbourne from Hobart, I was welcomed into the blind and vision impaired community. I started to play tennis in a way that doesn’t exclude me. 

I have always wanted to be more than just a spectator at sporting events. Meeting Maurice Gleeson, the CEO of the BSRV, has been one of the highlights of my life. Maurice made me realise that I can be a participant and follow my sporting pursuits in an inclusive way.

As well as Blind tennis, I play Vision Impaired Table tennis regularly, and enjoy the online walking program.   

Through engaging in these activities, I feel fitter, healthier, more confident, and I’ve made new friends with similar interests to me.

In May 2022, I travelled to Singapore to play tennis with other players from Melbourne. It was so much more than tennis. We made new friends who visited us later the same year when Melbourne hosted the Singapore Exchange Team.

As an Ambassador for BSRV, I want to share my story and encourage others to get involved in any way they can. It could be the best thing they ever do.

Thanks to Maurice and the team for all that you have given me. Now I’m looking forward to giving back."


Photo of Annette and Silvana courtesy of Michael Janes.


Read Annette's account of her day out at the 2023 Australian Open, first travelling with Yarra Trams and Traveller's Aid, and then enjoying the first ever AO All Abilities Day.

Read more about BSRV's other wonderful Ambassadors