South West tennis ace Thomas Mellor was able to continue to develop and excel in his chosen sport after the Gloucestershire Disability Fund paid for a series of professional coaching sessions.
Thomas began short tennis at school and proved early on that he had real flair for the game, reaching county level by the age of ten. However, due to his learning disability, Thomas struggled with the pressure and conflict of high-level competition and needed to step back.
Instead, the sporty youngster continued to play tennis for fun, and decided to become involved in learning-disability tennis.
In June 2013 he made his International debut as part of the Great Britain team competing in the INAS World Tennis Championships at Rakovnic in the Czech Republic. Thomas was one of the first British players to win medals at this elite level tournament and is now ranked number two in the world for Learning Disability Tennis.
In August 2013 he competed in the Special Olympics National Games, representing the South West region in both men’s Singles and Doubles, winning Silver and Gold medals.
With the help of funding from the Gloucestershire Disability Fund, Thomas has received a series of coaching sessions from staff at East Glos Tennis Club in Cheltenham. We will continue to follow his progress with great interest.
“I am committed to training hard to achieve my personal best and the best for my country. I believe I will be a positive role model for other people with a disability, encouraging them to play, enjoy and succeed at tennis. I am extremely grateful for the financial backing provided by the Gloucestershire Disability Fund and would recommend other disabled sports men and women to apply to them for funding,”
said Thomas, who lives in Cheltenham.