Wednesday 27th February 2008 by C. Freeman
Student Dermot Bailey has set his sights on competing in the 2012 Paralympics after being selected for the GB junior performance squad. Dermot, who is now ranked 12th in the world for junior wheelchair tennis went through a selection process at Loughborough University. Now he is part of the squad which hopes to compete in the 2012 event.
Dermot, from Year 9, said: 'It was a test of your tennis abilities, doing serves and things like that. I was pleased with my performance. The selectors rang me a couple of days later and told me I'd got through.'
It is a second cause for celebration for Dermot as he recently received a county sports award and is lined up to play at six tournaments in Britain and others in Italy and Holland.
Dermot has a specially adapted tennis wheelchair with racing tyres and a lightweight titanium frame which enables him to manoeuvre around the court quickly. Wheelchair tennis is played on a regular sized court but the only difference is that the ball is allowed to bounce twice before being returned. Dermot regularly practices with his tennis coach, Wayne Tideswell, but will now have to fit in his GB junior performance squad practices as well. Dermot said: 'I'm hoping to get into the London Olympics because that is the level that this squad is training for; it's going to be a lot of hard work. I think they train mainly at Loughborough and I'll have a whole day's training every couple of months.