Sport: Wheelchair Tennis
How did you get into sport?
I first found tennis when we moved house. I was just 5 years old and our new neighbours had a tennis court in their back garden. I loved it straightaway, so my parents looked into it more to see what my options were with my disability. They then took me to Stoke Mandeville where you can try many disability sports and that’s when we discovered that wheelchair tennis was a sport with tournaments worldwide. I’ve been doing it ever since.
What are your three biggest achievements in sport?
- 2 x Paralympian
- Competed at Wimbledon 2 x
- Top 10 world rankings in singles and doubles.
Who most inspired you and why?
My inspiration has always been my Grampy. The reason is because he taught me that the only barriers in life are ones you set yourself. Nothing is impossible and he gave me the belief that I could achieve anything I was willing to work hard enough for.
When and why did you get involved with the Athlete Mentor programme?
I have been a part of the Athlete Mentor programme for many years now and it’s been a privilege and amazing experience since day one. I got involved as I've competed in my sport for over 20 years and learnt so much - I simply wanted to give something back and help young people reach their full potential. It’s important to share the barriers that I and others have had to overcome and give young people the strength and courage to know they can overcome them too. Being able to do this while sharing the sport I love is the best combination I could ask for!
What has been your favourite moment as a YST Athlete Mentor?
There are so many it's hard to choose just one. However, there is a memory which stands out for me. A young man at a school I visited last year was so quiet and struggled to get involved in all the sessions. When it came to planning the final project he initially didn't want any role at all, until the actual day arrived. That morning he approached me and asked if he could do the introductions, welcome and some of the coaching elements. It was amazing to see how far he his confidence had grown and he led the sessions incredibly well, but most importantly he enjoyed it! Very proud moment as an Athlete Mentor.