In the wake of Gordon Reid’s historic Rio Paralympic Games gold and silver medals and subsequent rise to No. 1 in the men’s singles world rankings, wheelchair tennis in Scotland has another landmark to celebrate this weekend with a record 35 players set to compete in the Glasgow Wheelchair Tennis Tournament at Scotstoun Leisure Centre on 1st and 2nd October.
Reigning Australian Open and Wimbledon champion Reid, who was named Para-Sport Athlete of the Year at the Scottish Sports Awards on Wednesday night, began his wheelchair tennis career at regular sessions at Scotstoun Leisure Centre in 2005 and played competitively for the first time at the corresponding Glasgow tournament 11 years ago, winning the B Division singles event.
This year’s Glasgow tournament is the last of nine events in the Tennis Foundation’s National Wheelchair Tennis Series for 2016 before the National Finals and Celebration Weekend in Gloucester in December.
Winners of five of the previous eight main draw singles events at National Wheelchair Tennis Series events across the UK are among the entries in Glasgow, with B Division and Novice draws and a mini orange event scheduled for Sunday for the youngest players attracting more than 20 players.
Entries include Reid’s fellow former Paralympian Kevin Simpson, now Wheelchair Tennis Engagement Officer for Scotland, Peter Moore and Ryan Macdonald, all three of whom were among those playing at Scotstoun when Reid discovered wheelchair tennis in 2005. The new generation of Scottish players also among this weekend’s Glasgow entry include National School Games gold medallist Ruairi Logan.
“We are really excited about the tournament this weekend in Glasgow. With over 30 players due to compete, this will be a record for a wheelchair tournament in Scotland. This is down to the Gordon Reid effect that has raised the profile of wheelchair tennis and encouraged people to play the sport. We have players coming from all four corners of the UK and we can’t wait,” said Andrew Raitt, Tennis Scotland Regional Development Manager South West and Disability Lead..
“The Tennis Foundation National Wheelchair Tennis Series caters for players of all abilities and is the ideal introduction to competitive tennis for new players in a fun and friendly environment. Gordon is just one of our Paralympians to follow this pathway and we hope his story and success will continue to inspire many more new players,“ said Liz Terry, Tennis Foundation Disability Competitions Manager.
Photo courtesy of the Tennis Foundation: Ruari Logan