Wheelchair tennis champion reveals Paralympic Games goal

Ruairi has just won the Junior British Open for wheelchair tennis. Picture: Ian Georgeson
Ruairi has just won the Junior British Open for wheelchair tennis. Picture: Ian Georgeson
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HE dreams of competing in the Paralympic Games and appearing on the courts of Wimbledon.

And just last week, Ruairi Logan came one step closer to his lifelong goals, when he was crowned the champion of the British Open Junior Wheelchair Tennis Tournament in Nottingham.

The 14-year-old, who is a pupil at Broughton High, has been playing wheelchair tennis for seven years.

The youngster, who trains five nights a week and dedicates the majority of his free time to the sport, has been in a wheelchair for the majority of his life after being born with spina bifida – a condition which stops the spine from developing properly.

After trying out a range of sports including horseriding and basketball, Ruairi felt an immediate connection with tennis.

Talking about his experience of winning the competition, Ruairi, from Portobello, said: “It hasn’t quite sunk in that I won yet but it was an amazing experience.

“It was quite hard, especially the final, but I felt I had prepared well enough.

“I hope to take part in more tournaments, and eventually the Paralympic Games.

“My role model is Gordon Reid.”

In May this year, Ruairi travelled to Japan to represent Great Britain in the BNP Paribas Wheelchair World Team Cup, where he finished in fourth place.

He is coached once a week by wheelchair Paralympian Kevin Simpson, who travels from Falkirk to teach him. Angela McCulloch, Ruairi’s mum, said being in a wheelchair had never fazed her son.

She said: “For a young man, Ruairi is very inspirational – he’s a cool dude.

“As a child he took everything in his stride but as he is getting older, he is finding it more challenging to take care of his own health as I have always done everything for him.

“He is absolutely over the moon to have won the British Open Junior Wheelchair Tennis Tournament.

“He really deserves it because he trains so hard. He got exactly what he wanted out of it.”

In his spare time, Ruairi also helps out during the High Flyers session at Craiglockhart Tennis Centre.

High Flyers is a multi-sport programme club where children with learning difficulties receive training in athletics and other sports, as well as tennis.

Anna Myatt, tennis development officer for Edinburgh Leisure, said: “Ruairi’s performance at the British Open was outstanding and the result of all the hard work him and those around him have put in over the last few years.

“We are so proud to have him at Craiglockhart Tennis centre and hope that he will continue to progress and enjoy playing at the highest levels.

“He is an inspiration to both wheelchair and able-bodied juniors in his commitment and love of the sport.”