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Blind sports bring joy and community
Genamarie became severely vision impaired in 2006 and had to conclude her ballet teaching career as a result. But that has not stopped her from continuing to pursue an active and challenging life, including ballet and dance.
Genamarie is a regular participant in Blind Sports & Recreation Victoria's weekly Vision through Dance program, held at the Centre for Adult Education in the city. She has been involved in the class for the past five years and says it makes her feel free of restraint. ‘I feel like Superwoman when I walk out of the class and my core muscles feel like a shining light that has suddenly been turned on,’ Genamarie said.
Dance is just one of Genamarie’s many interests – which include blind tennis, yoga, Nordic walking and singing. Her perseverance on the tennis court has paid off. Eight years of tireless training culminated in her competing in the inaugural Blind Tennis International Tournament in Spain in 2017, where she was awarded the ‘Best Team Player’ award. Genamarie is now one of Victoria’s top ranked female blind tennis players.
‘In the beginning I wasn’t very good - there are balls at Melbourne Park Tennis Centre that are still lodged on the practice courts, so high up,’ she said. ‘However, I’m pretty good at serving. If I could hit an Ace every time I would win. Receiving is the hard part,’ Genamarie said. ‘It’s a foam ball with a sound in it, and you’ve got three bounces to find it, so you have to listen hard’.
Commenting on her experience with Blind Sports & Recreation Victoria, Genamarie said: ‘I would love for other people with vision loss to find the joy and community that I have through blind sports.'
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