I am fitter, more motivated and I’m already back competing in tennis!

Debbie has recently rediscovered her passion for playing tennis with one of our Multisport wheelchairs. She tells us a bit about what difference the sports chair has made to her since discovering Motivation. 

Tell us a bit about yourself…

I'm 58 years old, a mum to two grown up children and I live in Milton Keynes with my husband, Vince. 

My daughter plays US College Tennis at the University of Illinois, my partner is a badminton to tennis converter and competes locally. 

I work in Human Resources/Employment Law, but tennis is my passion hobby!  

When did you first start playing tennis?

I’ve played tennis my whole life.  Where I grew up there was easy access to cheap tennis courts, and my holidays were filled with casual tennis matches with friends. I was lucky enough to be in a tennis squad at a local club. 

I didn’t start life as a wheelchair tennis player. Aged 15 I was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma (a rare bone cancer) and the radiotherapy that killed the cancer also played havoc with the muscles in my lower part of my left leg. To begin with I still played able bodied tennis, but in 2008 my muscles in the leg finally gave up the ghost. That left me in a splint and able to walk, but not run or jog, which meant zero prospects on the tennis court. 

This took a long time for me to accept, I struggled on for 10 years being a terrible tennis player, going from specialist to specialist hoping for a solution to the muscle problem in my left leg – even to the point of considering amputation.

I resigned myself to be a tennis fan, tennis mum, tournament organiser and referee. But not playing the game I loved.

How did you find out about wheelchair tennis? 

I guess the seeds of wheelchair tennis were sown at the 2012 Paralympic Games, but I did nothing about it until 2018. Then, something else happened. On Easter Sunday, I suffered a massive pulmonary embolism. I survived by the skin of my teeth, thanks to the quick-thinking and –acting of my family. 

I had 5 months off work and during this break I resolved to get back into tennis, in a wheelchair. I decided to accept that this was my route back to the game I loved so much.

So, I started looking for a sports wheelchair. After much trawling of the internet, I came across Motivation UK. I spoke to them on the phone and bought a Multisport.

They had the right product for me as a beginner wheelchair tennis player at a price I could afford, and the service was out of this world!  They were so keen to help and got a chair to me quicker than I could have hoped for. 

What’s changed since you got your Multisport?

Started playing tennis again! It has quite simply transformed my life from sport fan to participant. I am fitter, more motivated and – being very competitive – I’m already back competing in tennis. That’s something I never did as an able-bodied player. I even came runner up in my first wheelchair tennis competition!