Dan Maskell Tennis Trust
Serving Tennis to Disabled People

Asher Byrne case study

15 year old Asher has always had a love for tennis. He enjoys watching Wimbledon religiously with grandparents and in 2022 Asher stated that he would like to start playing tennis. This was a big deal! Having a PDA (pathological demand avoidance) autistic profile he was very clear he wanted 1:1 lessons as engaging with peers was still exceptionally anxiety provoking for Asher. Asher’s mum applied for a grant from the Dan Maskell Tennis Trust and soon Asher started to receive coaching with Luke Castle at Nottingham Tennis Centre.

Asher developed a trusted relationship with Luke very quickly. Asher always looks forward to his tennis lessons and he is not only continually learning and adapting his tennis technique and skills but also enjoys the chat, banter and laughs that they have on court. Asher sees Luke as a role model and a positive male influence in his life.

Playing tennis is Asher’s happy place. If he could play and be on court 24/7, he would! He has become very self-aware that the movement from tennis helps with his mood, executive functioning and sensory regulation. It makes him feel confident and improves his self-esteem. It has allowed Asher to challenge and push himself to go to environments where he would normally choose to avoid due to noise, crowds and places being busy. Examples of these are the Rothesay Open and The Davis Cup at Manchester Arena.

Asher now has the desire to engage with peers and make friends with mutual interests and interacts and plays tennis weekly with a group at the weekends. It has allowed him to have future aspirations of now wanting to go back into formal learning to study sport as well as wanting to become a tennis coach when he is older.

The power of tennis and the relationship with his coach Luke has been lifechanging for Asher. The Dan Maskell Tennis Trust is so glad that we were able to help Asher on this incredible journey.

Major Online Auction Launched in Conjunction with eBay

From Thursday 24th August – Sunday 3rd September, DMTT is running an online auction on eBay to raise funds for our grant funding programme for people with disabilities who play tennis.