Louise Hunt, who was presented with the first ever Get Kids Going! sports wheelchair, when she was only six years old, at Wimbledon in 1997 tells us her wonderful story below…
“I am sooooo happy!.. This week I won the Israel Wheelchair Tennis Open Championships for the second time in both singles and doubles! The tournament always means a lot to me as in 2012, it was the tournament that helped me qualify for the London Paralympic Games, and in that year I did exactly what I did this year and beat the number 2 and 1 seeds! (I was third seed) I'm over the moon... it’s wonderful! In the quarters I was super happy as I beat Mariska again from South Africa who I also played in Italy last month, but then I won 7-6 7-6 and it was a real battle, this time it was much better and I won 6-2 6-3! I then met the Number 2 seed in the semi's. I still can't believe it but, I actually lost the first set 0-6. I was so nervous it was insane, but the second set was a huge improvement and I took it 6-3. The third set was such a close one, as it went to a tie-break, and I clinched it 7-5. Super close, I was shaking like crazy as I defended two match points too!!!!! Then in the final I met Katahrina for the third time this year – she’s always the one to beat. The last time I played her I wasn't very happy with my performance, but this time it was such a different story. It's the first time I’ve beaten her this year and I did it 7-5 7-5, again a really tight one! I'm so pleased to have won my first singles title of 2016, especially as it was the Israel Open again in Paralympic year, its becoming a special place to me! I also won the doubles with Miho Nijo, my old doubles partner, from Japan. We haven't played together for many years and I forgot how much fun it was with her, we beat the top seeds in 3 sets which was great as we were second seeds. It was a really cool week as her coach was there and so was mine so we were a nice little team. I really like having Ali (my individual coach) at tournaments, it makes such a difference to me and training is really productive around matches and of course it's great for him to see me play live matches! Home now for two weeks then off to Romania, my last tournament before qualifying for the Rio Paralympic Games in September this year! Can't wait as I've never been to Rio before... it’s my dream to go and be part of the GB Team yet again!
I could not have done all this without the brilliant help of Get Kids Going! who have kindly given me all my tennis chairs since I was six! They have also give me a sports grant each year so that I can travel to all my tournaments and pay for my training and equipment so I can play my tennis. I could not do it without them. I simply love playing! Thank you. I am sooooo happy! Love Louise x.”
Get Kids Going! is a national charity which gives disabled children and young people - up to the age of 26 yrs - the wonderful opportunity of participating in sport. We provide them with specially built sports' wheelchairs so they can do: athletics, marathons, tennis, skiing, rugby, sailing, boccia, basketball, sledge hockey, table tennis, fencing, shooting, archery, powerlifting and many more sports. Get Kids Going! inspires British disabled youngsters to compete in sporting events, from start to paralympic level, by also giving them sports grants to help with their; training, physiotherapy, travel, competition fees, design and development of sports' equipment etc. With your help many can become world record holders and paralympic champions!.
Our aim is to give support to all our budding paralympians in the build up to the 2016 Rio De Janeiro Paralympic Games and the 2018 South Korea Winter Paralympics and many more such events. Like any aspiring athletes all our youngsters need long term support, often over many years, to achieve their sporting dreams. Sadly, we are aware of cuts in funding for such youngsters from government and other sources, and so many of our youngsters are forced to rely on friends and family for financial help. As you can imagine this causes enormous burdens on many, already cash strapped, families and a constant worry as the cost of participating in their favourite sport is forever increasing.
There are hundreds of talented, disabled, youngsters who have the potential to participate in events throughout the UK and all over the world but receive either none or very little funding and are desperate to achieve their life-long sporting dreams. With your help, together we can turn their dreams into reality and help make them into sporting heroes!
Not only does Get Kids Going! focus on helping disabled young athletes but it also provides manual wheelchairs for children to use every day; at home, at school, and to enable them to play with their friends. These are our wonderful athletes of the future! We believe that all disabled children and young people should receive the right equipment to get them going!.
We support children with all disabilities and from all backgrounds. We take pride in ensuring that any equipment which is out grown is recycled to other children, so our supporters' valuable donations are never wasted. Many people who support Get Kids Going! feel a marvellous sense of achievement and satisfaction. They see that even the smallest donation makes an amazing difference! Get Kids Going! gives disabled children and young people the chance of a life time, freedom, and many wonderful opportunities that you and I take for granted. Opportunities they may never have without you and the support of Get Kids Going! No other charity in the UK focuses on helping disabled children and young people with sport in the same way.
The cost of a bespoke sports wheelchair is about £4,000. A lightweight manual wheelchair is around £3,000. All are designed individually, and perform just like a Formula 1 Racing Car!.
The cost of a sports grant can be anything from £500 to £15,000 per year for each youngster.
In general there are over 200,000 disabled children and young people in Britain who need the help of Get Kids Going!.
Please help us turn their dreams into reality!.
Our work would not be possible if it wasn’t for the hundreds of runners who support Get Kids Going! throughout the year by running the Virgin Money London Marathon, Paris Marathon, Berlin Marathon, New York City Marathon, Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon, Paris Half Marathon, Richmond Festival Half Marathon, Great North Run, taking part in Ride London 100, L'Etape du Tour and the many other events and marathons worldwide. And also the numerous companies, trusts, schools and individuals who kindly give us such valuable donations and support. We’d like to say a ‘big thank you’ to you all.