Seven of the country’s most promising junior wheelchair players have been selected to be part of a world leading new programme designed by Great Britain’s leading tennis charity, the Tennis Foundation to help them progress towards future international success.
The launch of the new Wheelchair Tennis Junior Futures Potential (JFP) Programme will play a key role in the development of talented, young wheelchair tennis players in the UK. It aims to help gifted juniors progress to the first level of the Tennis Foundation’s World Class Wheelchair Tennis Performance Programme – which boasts the likes of Wimbledon Doubles Champions Gordon Reid and Alfie Hewett at its pinnacle.
The JFP programme comprises six two-day training camps from February to December 2018, covering everything from coaching and performance to elite sport education. The first of the camps took place in London this weekend, with seven talented juniors making their way to the National Tennis Centre for two days of training and development.
The seven juniors selected for the programme all hail from different areas of the UK, with Ruby Bishop (14) from Norwich, Dahnon Ward (12) from Derbyshire, Abbie Breakwell (14) from Derbyshire, Ben Bartram (12) from Norwich, Alex Chason (15) from London, Ross Gourley (16) from Belfast and Greg Slade (15) from Surrey all selected to take part.
In addition to the performance camps, the seven talented juniors will also receive visits to their local training set-up from a Tennis Foundation coach, have access to supporting resources and educational materials and be nominated to receive a training grant from SportsAid; all designed to help their skills both on and off the court.
The new initiative is considered to be at the cutting edge of junior wheelchair sport development programmes across the world. Speaking about the programme, Tennis Foundation Talent ID Coach Rob Cross commented:
“The JFP Programme is a great opportunity for the Tennis Foundation to support and nurture young talented wheelchair tennis players. With the success of some of our elite players over the last few years, we want to give more players the platform to continue this success in the future. This is in line with the growing numbers of juniors we are seeing taking up the game and gives everyone an opportunity to progress through a clear pathway.”
With an opportunity to seamlessly advance to the first level of the Tennis Foundation’s World Class Wheelchair Tennis Performance Programme, the future certainly looks bright for the young GB stars.
For more information or to find out more about the Tennis Foundation’s work with disability tennis, visit the Tennis Foundation’s website.