Making tennis more accessible across the city

Portsmouth Tennis Centre is making tennis more accessible to individuals with disabilities through its work with local community groups.

The centre regularly runs free open days and low-cost group sessions throughout the year in partnership with organisations such as Headway Portsmouth & SE Hampshire, charity that supports people with an acquired brain injury, DS (Downs Syndrome) Active, and Gig Buddies to make the sport more accessible.

Adjustments to sessions include smaller courts, raised court lines, smaller rackets, foam tennis balls, and games played at a slower pace to allow participants to enjoy the sport. The centre also remains completely accessible through ramps, automatic electric doors and accessible toilet facilities.

Portsmouth Tennis Centre is operated by registered charity BH Live in partnership with Portsmouth City Council, who own the facility.

Speaking on the success of their group sessions, Jo Dallas, CEO of Headway Portsmouth & SE Hampshire shared:

“It is a long intensive road that lies ahead as a brain injured person slowly adapts to a new life and sudden change in their function. Disabled people who undertake sporting exercise have lower anger, frustration, and stress scores than people with disabilities who are inactive.

“Thanks to Portsmouth Tennis Centre, our service users have improved wellbeing, self-esteem, confidence, and communication. Carers and family members also receive respite while participants attend these sessions, offering a rare opportunity for relaxation and support.”

Macca Neaves, BH Live’s Head Coach at Portsmouth Tennis Centre said:

“Our mission at Portsmouth Tennis Centre is to show that tennis can be a social and fun exercise for everyone. Our qualified LTA tennis coaching team are absolutely fantastic and are passionate about working with players of all backgrounds, ages and abilities. It’s been a great opportunity to work with organisations such as Headway to introduce the sport to underrepresented groups throughout the city.”

Natalie Brahma-Pearl, Chief Executive at Portsmouth City Council said:

“We know that sport and leisure activities have the power to enrich lives and improve the health and wellbeing of those who participate. It is a council priority to improve the lives of our residents, and ensure they have access to the services they need.”  

An open day will be held on Monday 8 July 2024 for Headway Portsmouth & SE Hampshire service users and other local disability groups to engage in Wimbledon-themed activities, including free strawberries and cream.

BH Live also runs Aces Tennis Academy at Portsmouth Tennis Centre, a programme aimed at youngsters aged 5 and upwards to provide a progressive and fun tennis pathway for children of all abilities up to the ages of 16. It runs alongside the LTA’s youth learning framework with an extra serving of fun.

Portsmouth Tennis Centre was commended as the Hampshire & Isle of Wight winner in last year’s LTA Tennis Awards ‘Tennis For All’ category for the centre’s hard work in bringing tennis to underrepresented groups throughout the city.

For further information, visit or speak to a member of our team in your local centre.


About BH Live

BH Live is a leading operator of leisure and event venues; a registered charity and social enterprise that designs and builds engaging experiences to inspire people and enrich lives.

For more visit

Get social with us: LinkedIn, X @BHLIVE_UK and Facebook @SocialEnterpriseBHLive

BH Live is a leisure and cultural trust, established in 2010 as a ‘non profit distributing organisation’ (NPDO) for public benefit to promote participation in leisure and cultural events. BH Live is a Company Limited by Guarantee and Registered Charity. Charity No: 1138311. Company No: 07092112.  VAT Reg No: 108 2248 37. BH Live (Enterprises) Ltd, is a Private Company Limited by Shares and a wholly owned subsidiary of BH Live. Company No: 07175626. VAT Reg No: 108 2248 37. Registered Office: Bournemouth International Centre, Exeter Road, Bournemouth, BH2 5BH. Registered in England and Wales.

BH Live operates the following venues in partnership with Portsmouth City Council:

  • Mountbatten Leisure Centre – Portsmouth’s flagship leisure and event venue with swimming pools, a 150 station gym,
    squash, spin and dance studios, a cycle velodrome, athletics track, function suites with bars, a café and soft play facility.

Mountbatten is also home to an eight-court sports hall. The sports

hall remains temporarily closed for overhead repairs.

It is also home to a Clip ‘N Climb leisure attraction which opened in 2018.

For more visit

Get social with us: X and Facebook @mountbattenlc

  • Pyramids Centre – one of Portsmouth’s leading leisure venues overlooking Southsea beach and the Solent. It has state-of-the-art Technogym fitness equipment in a spacious gym with functional fitness, strength and cardio zones. There is a dedicated area for health assessments and people who are new to exercise, plus fitness tracking technology to help support people in reaching their activity goals.

Four activity studios provide a variety of daily exercise classes including Group Cycling, HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), Yoga, Pilates and the Les Mills programme.

The centre is also home to Exploria, a themed play and bounce attraction which opened in 2021. A range of exciting experiences stimulate play and challenge children agreed from 6 months upwards. A bounce zone includes a diving tower with air bag, interactive games, themed slides agility parkour, battle beams and foam pits. The play zone includes ball pits, spider’s web and cargo climbing features, a rope bridge skywalk, bash bags, tunnels, rollers, beams and dodge ball shoot out. And the baby and toddler zone has all things Exploria, but downsized for little ones. There is also a range of interactive games, a dedicated sensory room, four themed party rooms and a café serving snacks, light bites and drinks.

For more visit and

Get social with us: X @PyramidsCentre

Facebook @Pyramids.Centre

  • Portsmouth Gymnastics Centre – gymnastics hall with physiotherapy and meeting room.

For more visit

Get social with us: Facebook @PortsmouthGymnasticsCentre

  • Portsmouth Tennis Centre – Situated in the north of Portsmouth consisting of four indoor courts and six floodlit outdoor courts. A comprehensive coaching programme caters for all ages and abilities. Sessions are available for tots, juniors, adults and also includes variations of the sport such as cardio tennis and touch tennis.

For more visit

Get social with us: Twitter @PortsTennis and Facebook @PortsmouthTC

  • Wimbledon Park Sports Centre – sports hall with badminton and basketball courts

For more visit

Get social with us: Facebook @WimbledonParkSportsCentre

  • Charter Community Sports Centre – 20m swimming pool, 20 station gym, sports hall and an outdoor multi-use games area.

For more visit

Get social with us: Facebook @CharterCommunitySC