Wheelchair Tennis Arrives in Oxfordshire

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ParalympicsGB star Marc McCarroll

Tennis Oxfordshire is supporting the county’s first dedicated wheelchair tennis day on Saturday 4 November as part of ambitious plans to create a new hub for disability tennis in the county.

The event, entitled the ‘Push2Podium’ initiative and organised by the Tennis Foundation, will run at the White Horse Leisure Centre, Abingdon (12 noon – 4pm).

Some of the country’s top coaches in disability tennis will be in attendance and it is a great opportunity for anyone who wants to try wheelchair tennis to give it a go. Please book online at www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/Push2Podium2017 or you can just turn up on 4 November.

The session will be run by two of the UK’s leading coaches in wheelchair tennis: Ash Smith, Performance Development Coach at the Tennis Foundation and Marc McCarroll, who represented Great Britain at the Paralympics in London and Rio.

Marc, who has recently moved to Steventon, Oxfordshire was also part of the training team for the GB squad at the Invictus Games.

“There has never been a better time to get involved in wheelchair tennis,” said Marc. “It’s a sport with a growing profile and we are really keen to get regular wheelchair tennis sessions going at the White Horse, both for juniors and adults.

“The ‘Push2Podium’ event will kick us off and give everyone a flavour of what it’s like to play. It’s not just about hitting a ball – but also about how to manoeuvre the wheelchair, how to hold a racket, how to develop those chair skills in general.”

Players who impress at the ‘Push2Podium’ event will be invited on to the Tennis Foundation’s Development Squad.

The wheelchair tennis day is just one of a series of initiatives taking place at the White Horse which aims to see the leisure centre become a hub for disability tennis in the county. The Centre is already running programmes for visually impaired players, people with special needs and a downs syndrome group.

There are further plans to extend the range of tennis sessions to people with mental health issues.

“A few of our coaches are running sessions for disability groups already,” said Nicky Maskens, Chair of Tennis Oxfordshire.

“At the White Horse we now have a large number of specialised wheelchairs which we want people to use. They are available for anyone at any time. All people have to do is ask for one when they book a court.”