Sheffield Paralympic tennis star out to help others

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Two years after his London 2012 Paralympics adventure Sheffield wheelchair tennis player Alex Jewitt is keen to put something back into the sport.

The highly successful Jewitt - fifth in the Great Britain singles rankings and 69th in the world - will shortly take up a new role helping to develop tennis opportunities for people with disabilities in Sheffield, and is also taking his tennis coaching qualification.

Taking part in a home Paralympics is an experience that Jewitt will never forget. “As an overall experience, it’s difficult to put into words. There were so many amazing aspects, that you run out of superlatives,” he said.

“The opening and closing ceremonies were brilliant, and Peter Norfolk [quad tennis player] was carrying the flag, so we were first into the stadium from Team GB and so got to see everything first, plus we were all over the papers the following day.

“From a tennis perspective it was slightly disappointing to lose in the first round of the singles, but when Dave [Philipson, doubles partner] and I won our doubles match in front of over 2,000 people, that was amazing”.

Following the Paralympics Jewitt, aged 38, has continued to play competitively and has won the Sheffield Wheelchair Futures tournament held at Graves Tennis Centre for the last two years.

“Playing tennis has meant I’ve got to travel all over the world and I’d like to help other people have the opportunity to take part in the sport,” he said.

Jewitt will work alongside Sheffield Disability Tennis co-ordinator Isobel Dunn to deliver a programme of disabled tennis sessions in the city.

The programme includes sessions for wheelchair players, people with learning disabilities and the visually impaired. For more, contact Isobel Dunn on isobel@academytennis.co.uk.