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Jayant's the giant of wheelchair tennis
Around the Academy:

Jayant Mistry is Great Britain's number one wheelchair tennis player ranked seventh in the world.

Watch my story in video

He's been one of the world's leading players in the sport for over 10 years.

Q: How old were you when you discovered wheelchair tennis?

A: I started playing wheelchair tennis when I was 19-years-old.

However, I had been playing wheelchair basketball since I was 13, so I had plenty of wheelchair skills.

Q: Have you been in a wheelchair all your life?

A: I was born with Spina Bifida, so I was born disabled.

Q: When did you first realise you had a talent for wheelchair tennis?

A: After a couple of years of playing the sport and entering competitions, I began to beat people who'd been playing the game a lot longer than me.

But then I went to my first international tournament and lost to someone who I never should have lost to, which brings you back down to earth again.

Q: What has the sport done for you?

A: I've travelled so much throughout the 15 years that I have been playing - I've travelled to America, Australia, all around Europe.

I love competitions against the top players from around the world - and beating them.

Q: How do you fund yourself?

A: I'm funded through the world class performers' scheme through the National Lottery.

They provide for my upkeep, but the British Tennis Association pay for the tournaments and entry fees.

I'm very fortunate to have funding from both of these organisations.

Q: How many hours a week do you train?

A: A good training week for me is six days a week on court between two and five hours a day.

I also do two or three weight sessions and I also still play wheelchair basketball, I try and get on court with one or two hours a day.

Q: What would you be doing if you weren't a full-time wheelchair tennis player?

A: I'm a fully qualified tennis coach, so I would like to think I would still be involved in the sport in some degree.

Q: What advice would you give to anyone who wants to play wheelchair tennis?

Just give it a go, it's such a great sport.

I started playing the sport because I enjoyed playing it and still enjoy it to this very day.

What is wheelchair tennis?

Jayant factfile
Birthdate: 29 August 1966
Birthplace: Leicester
Weight: 45kg
Favourite film: Scent of a woman, Life of Brian
Ideal holiday destination: South Africa

Open Quote
Everything I am doing now is aimed towards getting a gold medal at the 2004 Paralympic Games
Close Quote
Jayant Mistry
UK's No 1 Wheelchair tennis player

What is Spina bifida?
It's a physical disability some babies are born with
It's caused because the baby's spine does not grow properly during pregnancy
The gap means the central nervous system is damaged so messages from the brain can't get through to the lower body can't get through
Its cause is not known

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