This is an incredible story.
18 year old Jessie Webb discovered wheelchair tennis for the first time last September. Only 3 months later and she has become a national champion. In December, Jessie partnered Lauren Jones to claim the Ladies Doubles title at the National Wheelchair Tennis Championships at Oxstalls Sports Park, Gloucester.
Norfolk LTA spoke to Jessie about her amazing achievement:
How did you get into Wheelchair Tennis?
“I started playing wheelchair tennis mid September ’16. I was in contact with Norma Bowen who got me in touch with Derek Perry at East Anglia Tennis & Squash club for a introductory lesson – from then on, I knew the sport was for me!”
What is your training programme?
“I now train with Derek once or twice a week, however after successfully being selected for the Tennis Foundation’s Talent ID programme, Derek and I are waiting for a meeting with the Talent ID Coach, Rob Cross to put together a personal training programme for 2017.”
Tell us about competing at the national championships?
“I attended the Nationals in Gloucester purely for the experience of playing with high level players, so I could see what kind of standard of play I was aiming for – in fact, there I played my first ever match in a chair! Singles was a great learning curve for myself – just the match experience was great and taking a couple of games off of them was a bonus! Winning the Doubles Title with Lauren Jones, who I’d met up with for a hit about a month before and is now my mentor, was insane! Lauren asked if I wanted to be her doubles partner purely for my benefit so we could hit together but on the same side. We went in to our first game expecting our next match to be a consolation match. However we won our Semi’s 10-1 in a tiebreak, then our Finals fairly comfortably 6-1 6-2. I’m not sure what was better the fact we won the doubles title at my first ever tournament or my doubles partner was the current world number 35.”
What plans do you have for the future?
“I have a lot planned for 2017, got training camps in various places in the UK with the Tennis Foundation’s Talent ID Development Squad and aiming to play in as many tournaments as possible, the first one being in Sheffield in March!”
If you are interested in taking part in a disability tennis session please contact Norma Bowen, Norfolk LTA Disability Co ordinator on firstname.lastname@example.org .