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Ian Payne, teenage tennis blogger

Ian Payne, photo by Roy Smiljanic Photography/Tennis Foundation

This month Proudlock Associates introduce you to Ian Payne, teenage tennis blogger from Kent. Ian’s experiences on and off the tennis court can teach us all some valuable lessons in life. 

Wheelchair Tennis – Why, What, Where?

“I started wheelchair tennis when I was four years old, I have CP (Cerebral Palsy) and I have now been playing for ten years, I’ve been encouraged and supported at every moment by my mum and dad.   I was the junior national champion in 2009, the B division doubles winner last year at the British Open and in April this year at Taunton I won the main draw consolation and came runner up in the main draw doubles .

I train three times a week for at least two hours a time.  In my sessions I do movement drills, which are very important for wheelchair players, ground stroke drills, serving and match play. I’ve been playing for over ten years now, so you can see tennis is pretty addictive.  Ok, yes it’s great exercise and keeps me fit but there’s a huge buzz from playing my best and of course winning!   Competing in tournaments is so important, here I make many new friends but more importantly test my mental toughness and channel aggression into winning.   When it’s tournament time, boring day to day problems like homework don’t bother me because I’m spending time with great friends.

I know tennis is going to be a great help when I leave school because even now at 14 years I’ve learned so much about dealing with awkward situations, keeping calm and coping with pressure.  It will be useful in lots of situations that life throws at me.  

Because I’ve been fortunate enough to have been helped by so many people I try to make time to support and encourage new players and I tell them it doesn’t matter if they lose every match, it matters how well they’ve played and that they are improving.  Right now I am helping to set up a wheelchair tennis group at Polo Farm in Canterbury and at Tunbridge Wells Sports Centre.  Anyone interested in playing should get in touch through our  Facebook Group.