Before receiving her grant for a custom made RGK grand slam tennis wheelchair, Ebony Court was using a chair that was uncomfortable to sit in for long periods of time, causing her severe pain. The old chair caused pain especially in her legs and spine as she didn’t have the correct support or strapping, this also made the spasms in her legs caused by her cerebral palsy worse due to the pressure from the straps across the top of her legs which had to be made tighter as she had grown taller. This didn’t make for a pleasant tennis experience and it’s a wonder Ebony could keep playing at all!
Ebony applied for a grant through the Dan Maskell Trust which was successful. Her custom made chair is not only much more comfortable to sit in, but she can also move so much easier around court as the old chair had become heavy and difficult to move.
Since having the new chair Ebony has been able to increase the amount of time she spends on court as she is so much more comfortable. It has also increased her confidence because she is not struggling with pain or finding it hard to move on court which was very frustrating for her.
With a lot of support from other wheelchair tennis players she was encouraged to enter the end of year Wheelchair National Championships in 2019. This was something that she had always wanted to do but knew very little about. Ebony says ‘I went into the tournament feeling a little apprehensive but with the thought of whatever happens, happens and I’m so glad I did because not only did I make new friends and finish 3rd in the novice singles but I came away feeling that I can achieve anything if I put the time and training in, especially with the right team of people supporting me’.
Being on court is something that Ebony has really come to enjoy and after her sessions she comes off court feeling that not only has she had a good workout but her mental health has had a much needed boost. Playing more tennis and joining group sessions along with attending tournaments has also been a good way of making new friends. We are so glad here at DMTT that Ebony’s new chair has made such a huge difference to her life.