James Shaw

YST James Shaw

Sport: Wheelchair Tennis

How did you get into sport?

I always wanted to play a sport after seeing my dad train and run local half marathons. After going to a disability sports day, I tried lots of sports including tennis, found a club near me, and have played ever since.

What are your three biggest achievements in sport?

  • World team cup (Davis Cup equivalent) winner 2017 as part of Team GB
  • Became national champion in 2015
  • Highest world ranking of 11, and 2 in Britain.

Who most inspired you and why?

Throughout my career I've looked at lots of different athletes as I feel I can always learn from different successful people. I learnt about the love of sport from my dad, and then work ethic and persistence from people like Tiger Woods, and Esther Vergeer who is the most successful wheelchair tennis player. After having the honour of meeting her she inspired me to keep working and improving and the importance of the psychological aspects of the game. 

When and why did you get involved with the Athlete Mentor programme?

I was told about the opportunity to become an Athlete Mentor from my governing body soon after giving my first public speech to a group of children in my local school. The reception was great and I loved being able to pass on my experiences and show how much tennis has changed my life. Beyond the Baseline has given me the opportunity to meet like-minded people, and help more children that are struggling within school.

What has been your favourite moment as a YST Athlete Mentor?

I have thoroughly enjoyed seeing myself and children developing together. When starting out I was shy and would struggle to talk in front of large groups of people, so I feel I can relate well to people in that situation and love helping them to gain greater confidence and life skills.