Humans of the Court: Neil’s Story
• 2 MINUTE READ
Humans of the Court is a series on Instagram from the LTA, bringing you real life stories from those who make tennis in Britain what it is.
Whether they be players, coaches or volunteers, young or old, beginners picking a racket for the first time or life-long veterans, the series will showcase those involved in tennis in communities across the country and shine a spotlight on the many faces of the sport. Follow the LTA and the #HumansOfTheCourt hashtag on Instagram to uncover more stories!
For Neil Rossiter playing tennis isn’t just a release, it’s a form of medication. Being on the court is the only place where he feels ‘pain free.’
After a serious accident left him needing to use a wheelchair Neil was advised by a neighbour to try wheelchair tennis.
And he’s fallen in love with the sport to such an extent that he’s gone on to become an LTA-accredited coach at Grantham Tennis Club, in Lincolnshire.
Here Neil tells his story:
“I was about eight years old when I first played tennis, it was the summer and I lived in Winchmore Hill, London.
“Tennis wasn’t a sport I played throughout my childhood though, I was more into bikes and American cars.
“After my accident, my neighbour suggested I give wheelchair tennis a try. I’d never even seen it on TV, never mind contemplated playing it.
“One day I decided to give it a try and everyone was so welcoming. It was the first time I’d seen disabled people competing with able bodied players and I thought, ‘I could do that!’
“When you’re on court and concentrating on the game, all your pain goes out of the window. It’s the only time I am completely pain free.
“I’m now a level two coach and take great pleasure in helping people with very challenging disabilities.
“It’s one of the only places where there’s no agenda, you feel comfortable and at ease. People don’t talk to you because you’re in a wheelchair, they see a tennis player first.
“The bravest thing people can do is get through the door and pick up a racket.”
LTA and Open Court
To find out more about disability tennis and how to get involved, click here.