Wheelchair tennis sessions are being served up at Aylesbury Tennis Club.
More than 500 people play wheelchair tennis in Britain every week and it’s a rapidly growing sport, following the success in the game with three British Wimbledon champions, numerous GB Paralympic medals, and many other British titles.
Guy Morris, one of the regular players, said: “Since injuring my spinal cord in a road traffic accident in 2011, I have had to come to terms with life as a permanent wheelchair user. I had always prided myself on my independence and had lived with a certain amount of freedom before my accident.
“One thing you realise quite quickly is that activity and exercise can play a crucial part in both physical and mental well-being. Even just getting outside and carrying on with “normal” activities can been a challenge.
“The good news is however, there are plenty of opportunities for people out there to throw themselves into sports. Money and funding are available but more importantly there are some amazing people willing to put their own time and effort into helping people with disabilities, one of those people is Emily Weller. Emily accosted me on the street one day and thrust a flyer into my hands about wheelchair tennis. I had played quite regularly before my injury and was also a keen football player and swimmer so I thought why not give it a go as I was looking for a new sport to get into. Well she hadn’t really given me a choice, had she?!
“The sessions run for an hour on Saturday mornings and Emily has worked wonders managing to raise the funds for four brand new chairs, rackets and balls. The sessions are well thought out and structured for both adults and kids. It’s been tough, having to adjust the thought process of being in a wheelchair; positioning and hitting the right shot without legs and chair getting in the way. I’ve found it really helpful in that it gets my body moving in ways that my normal day-to-day activities don’t - it helps with fitness and coordination, plus its fun!
“I’ve got a long way to go with it to reach some sort of level, but after six months I can see the progress and am looking forward to what may be achievable in the future.”
LTA Accredited Performance Coach Emily Weller, said: “We would like to organise competition between local clubs, which would be a first for wheelchair tennis in Buckinghamshire. We would also like to continue working with Aces wheelchair basketball club based at Stoke Mandeville. Together we have organised combined wheelchair basketball and tennis taster sessions for players in the surrounding area which has been great.”
The wheelchair tennis sessions take place on a Saturday morning and are open to all. Players may not necessarily use a wheelchair day-to-day but perhaps have a physical impairment. The first session is free. Further information can be found at www.jwtcoaching.com/wheelspin or by calling Emily on 07961 948210.
Aylesbury Tennis Club would like to thank the following partners, all of whom have shown great support in getting wheelchair tennis up and running at the club: Bucks Tennis, Leap, Sport England, The Dan Maskell Tennis Trust, Tennis Foundation, Aces Basketball Club, Aylesbury Vale District Council, WheelPower, Limb Power, The Spinal Injuries Association, Buckinghamshire Learning Trust, and JWT Coaching.