Ace new tennis programme for Scotland’s stars

Paralympic gold-medallist Gordon Reid. Photo: LTA

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Helensburgh wheelchair tennis hero Gordon Reid is to benefit from a new programme aimed at backing the country’s top tennis talents.

Tennis Scotland will provide tailored coaching, funding and promotional support to the country’s next generation of stars through its new National Player Programme.

The programme has been designed to help players aged 14+ advance their careers and make the transition into professional tennis at all levels of the game, with support tailored to each player’s individual needs.

Eleven players have access to centralised training in conjunction with the University of Stirling, home to the Scottish National Tennis Centre and GB National Tennis Academy. They will also receive expert sport science and medicine support via the sportscotland Institute for Sport and financial grants towards coaching and competition costs.

Currently ranked fifth in the world, two-times wheelchair singles Grand Slam winner and Paralympic gold-medallist Gordon Reid is among the players who have been enrolled.

Gordon started playing tennis aged six, alongside his two brothers and sister at Helensburgh Lawn Tennis Club.

In 2004, just a week before his 13th birthday, he contracted transverse myelitis and despite being paralysed from the waist down, bounced back to start playing tennis again, only this time in a wheelchair.

Aged 16, just three years after contracting the illness, he proudly wore the GB shirt at his first Paralympic Games in Beijing.

All the selected players will showcase their journeys on the Tennis Scotland social media channels as part of a forthcoming vlog series which will give young fans an insight into the life of an aspiring Scottish tennis professional.

The Tennis Scotland National Player Programme participants are: Ali Collins; Jacob Fearnley; Ben Hudson; Ruairi Logan; Maia Lumsden; Sam Macleod; Aidan McHugh; Charlie Miller; Jonny O’Mara; Gordon Reid and Connor Thomson.