Recommended age group: 14–18
Time required: one 45–60 minute session
Equipment: Anyone for wheelchair tennis? activity sheet, calculators.
Wheelchair tennis first became a Paralympic sport in 2004. Over the years, it has grown in popularity and there are now over 170 tournaments in more than 40 countries across the world. Peter Norfolk OBE is Britain's most successful wheelchair tennis player. Nicknamed 'the Quadfather', Peter has won several Gold medals in the Paralympic Games.
Video cameras enhance Peter's game in two ways. Firstly, he uses video footage to analyse his play. He watches his serves frame by frame and works out how he might improve his performance. Then, during the game, the tennis umpires use six or more computer-linked television cameras positioned around the court, which together produce an accurate 3D representation of the ball's path. This enables them to be certain about whether a ball is in or out – a decision which in the end could make the difference between Peter getting a Gold or a Silver, or a medal or not.
In this challenge, students use equations of motion and projectiles to analyse Peter Norfolk's wheelchair tennis serve.