In Memoriam: Miyoshi Takei, 1968-2011
Miyoshi Takei, 1968-2011
We sadly share the passing of an inspirational colleague. Mr. Miyoshi Takei of Japan died in a tragic train accident on January 16, 2011. He was 42 years old. Mr. Takei was born in 1968, and lost his eyesight at 18 months old. He was a role model and great representative of people with visual impairments and blindness.
Takei was loved by many and will be remembered best as the inventor and pioneer of tennis for the visually impaired and blind (known as blind tennis in Japan). When he was 16, in high school, Takei dreamed of playing tennis with his high school peers. He decided to invent tennis for the blind, and he worked tirelessly to create a tennis ball specifically designed for those without vision. His devotion to the sport drew many supporters and people who helped him in his work. In 1990, Takei's dream became a reality: The first-ever tennis tournament for the visually impaired was played. Over the past 21 years, Takei won 17 titles as national champion. He dreamed that blind tennis would continue to grow and be played by people all over the world. He hoped the sport would be included in the 2020 Paralympics. Those who miss him will honor his memory by working towards this goal and sharing his dream.
APH was honored and grateful to work with the Japan Blind Tennis Federation (JBTF) to produce our 30-Love: Tennis Guidelines for Players with Visual Impairment or Blindness. Takei shared his story in the guidebook on how he created his first audible tennis ball in high school and how he later developed the ball that is in APH's 30-Love Tennis Kit. Just a few days before the JBTF's Secretary General, Ayako Matsui, notified APH of Takei's death, we received a new, more durable version of Takei's tennis ball. He always worked to make tennis for the visually impaired a better sport. Ms. Matsui told APH that Takei always dreamed of playing tennis in the United States.
(APH News, February 2011)