Richard Taunton Student Wins National Wheelchair Tennis Final

Richard Taunton Sixth Form College student Andrew Penney has won the men’s singles at the LTA’s Wheelchair Tennis National Finals.

The event took place at The Shrewsbury Club and Andrew won the title in two straight sets 6-4, 6-4. Andrew also received an award for the most men’s singles wins across the LTA’s National Wheelchair Tennis Series of tournaments.

Of his success, Andrew said:

“Almost everyone who competes on the national tour was at Shrewsbury. Winning the final shows how far I have come in the three or so years I have played wheelchair tennis. I am extremely pleased with my performances this year and I can’t wait to continue competing in tournaments next year.”

Andrew has been using a wheelchair since complications surrounding a toenail operation in 2018 left him unable to walk. He was later diagnosed with complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) and allodynia. The trauma Andrew experienced also caused him to lose his memory. Since May 2020, Andrew has been a member of the LTA’s Wheelchair National Age Group Programme.

Andrew said:

“Before my illness, I played tennis at county level. When I lost my memory, my mum got me back into the sport because she felt it was something I would enjoy. It gives me a purpose which really helps with both my mental and physical health. I am also able to help others participate in the sport which I really enjoy.”

Andrew is currently studying Sports Coaching at Richard Taunton Sixth Form College.

Of his studies, Andrew said:

“I enjoy learning how to coach others as well as how to treat my body with greater respect in terms of diet, sleep and nutrition. The college helps me balance my studies with attending competitions which is invaluable and helps me to strive for excellence in my sport.”

Andrew’s story was recently featured on BBC South Today.