INSPIRATIONAL Paralympians Lucy Shuker, a double bronze medallist, served up a tennis treat for a some special needs pupils.
The masterclass at Hindhead’s Stepping Stones School, celebrated the new partnership forged between the school and Haslemere Tennis Club, which provides volunteer-led tennis coaching for students.
Pupils participating in the scheme were presented with medals by their special guest, as well as receiving some top notch coaching, and watching the medal-winning sportswoman play club chairman Nick Austin.
They were also able to meet another Paralympian Gold Medallist in Rachel Morris, a former hand-cyclist who won a rowing Gold at Rio in 2016.
Lucy said: “It is hugely inspiring to see tennis coaching being offered to students with special needs at Stepping Stones and great to see Haslemere Tennis Club offering volunteer coaching ongoing.
“Big congratulations also go to Sport Haslemere for making it all happen, and thanks to mayor Malcolm Carter and the Penny Ha’penny Trust for all their financial support to help make this coaching programme work, and thanks to the students for showing tremendous commitment and enthusiasm.”
Mr Austin said: “This is hopefully the first of many new initiatives by our club to bring tennis to new groups of young people in the community.
“It has been a great privilege for all our volunteer coaches to work with the Stepping Stones students, who have made a fantastic start with their first lessons.”
Head Melissa Grigsby said: “The positive attitude of coaches champions the principles of inclusive sport that are paramount in the Waverley Para Games.
“Athletes, such at Lucy, have worked tireless with the support of coaches to be treated as equals by grassroots clubs, rather than attending separate sessions that actually exclude them from high quality coaching.
“Thanks to Lucy for inspiring our young people and taking the games onto its next steps.”