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Louise Hunt-Tennis Champ

Louise Hunt was born on May 24, 1992 in Wanborough, England with spinal bifida. Spinal Bifida is a birth defect of the spinal column where the spinal tube is not completely closed at birth. Doctors told Louise’s parents that Louise would never be able to walk. But that never stopped determined Louise from being athletic! Louise told Get Kids Going! that her disability “never had a negative impact on my life. My parents treated me the same as my older brother. I grew up playing sports”.

Louis’ interest in tennis was sparked at the age of five after watching a professional match. Louise became sold on tennis around the same time as the tennis match. Her family moved to a new house where tennis courts were being built nearby. She got her first tennis wheelchair from Get Kids Going! at the age of seven and has never stopped playing.

She is now one of Britain’s rising tennis Paralympic hopefuls for the London 2012 Paralympic games which are less then 1,000 days away. The British Tennis Performance Program saw her potential on the court, and invited her to join the team. Now at the age of 17, the young rising tennis star is closer to achieving her goal of competing in the Paralympics then ever before. She trains six days a week, logging over 16 hours a week in practice along with going to university. She started attending the University of Bath this year and trains on the University’s tennis track. In the athletics track, Louise only has five hours of class a week, and as a result will be attending university for three years instead of two years.

She tells Get Kids Going! the biggest obstacle in her tennis career that she’s had to overcome has been financial difficulties. Louise says, “My family support is great but I need funding in order to keep going. The past few years have been tough to find funding”. This year she has enough sponsors to keep her competing for awhile. Get Kids Going! is happy to keep her supplied in her sporty wheels and an annual sports grant.

Get Kids Going! gave Louise her first tennis wheelchair, and subsequently over the years given her three tennis chairs and one racing wheelchair. She had a brief run on the wheelchair racing scene. She says that people should really participate in the Get Kids Going! charity, because Get Kids Going! is really important to children. She says, “They [Get Kids Going!] provide chairs to people like me who start at the bottom, and end up playing for the country. It gives them [disabled children] a chance to become professional athletes.” She says that her life would be totally different without Get Kids Going! “I would never be where I am today”. We wish Louise luck with her dream of competing in the London Olympics in 2012. We hope for the best! We will continue to support her as long as she plays.

The list of her accomplishments include
• Winning her seconds singles tournament in the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour
• Won the Flora London Mini Marathon 7 times in a row
• Ranked Fourth among the Junior tennis players in the world
• Was named BBC West Disabled Sportsmen of the year in 2007
• Her first Get Kids Going! Tennis wheelchair was presented to her by Sir Cliff Richard.

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