A wheelchair tennis player who realised a dream when she took part in the London 2012 Paralympics has paid tribute to Stoke Mandeville as the inspiration behind her career.
Louise Hunt, 22, was born with Spina Bifida and will never forget being first introduced to wheelchair sport at Stoke Mandeville when she was just five years old.
Now, after making her Paralympic debut, Hunt will be embarking on a tour of schools to pass on her experience and enthusiasm to the next generation.
Speaking about Stoke Mandeville, Hunt said: “It is hard to describe what an amazing place it is, and at such a young age, it gave me much more than just a chance to try out a variety of sports.
“It was here where I met many friends who I am still in contact with today, gave me confidence and ambition to believe in my abilities. I found my love for wheelchair tennis and wheelchair racing at Stoke Mandeville and I competed in both for many years.
“My ultimate dream came true last year when I represented Great Britain at wheelchair tennis for London 2012.
“Years of hard work, endless hours of training and travelling to compete finally paid off. It was truly the most incredible experience, a once in a lifetime achievement. I feel very proud and privileged that my first Paralympic Games were in London.”
In her career Louise has won three World Junior Masters titles, three Women’s World titles and has 26 international doubles titles and nine international women’s titles to her name.
Now she is touring schools with her stories which she hopes will help youngsters.
“I have a real keen interest in sharing my stories and experiences with others to help and encourage them to pursue their dreams as well raising the importance and awareness of disability sport,” she added.
to register interest in a school talk from louise visit www.wheelpower.org.uk