After a whirlwind summer becoming a triple World Champion, Fabrice Higgins talks about how he found his love of tennis and why anyone can enjoy the sport, whatever their ability
It’s crazy to think it was only two months ago I was in Prague competing at the INAS World Tennis Championships for people with a learning disability and returning with three gold medals from the singles, doubles and team events.
I’ve also just returned from Bath, where I represented the North West at the Special Olympics National Games and was delighted to finish in 1st place for both divisions I entered in the singles competition.
It was great to go straight from that event to the Tennis Foundation’s Disability Tennis Festival at the National Tennis Centre as I love to get involved in things like that and meet other players.
I started playing tennis at the age of six, after my grandmother bought me a cheap wooden tennis racket whilst on holiday in Wales. That was the start of an incredible journey for me despite facing many challenges along the way. I’ve always had a passion for the game of tennis and a strong determination to overcome setbacks because of my disability and I’ve now won many mainstream tournaments around the country as well as internationally.
Having a disability meant that I had to put in more hours on and off court and I worked extremely hard. I want to highlight to people that are unaware that my disability has also helped my tennis game as I am very disciplined and have a keen eye for noticing details that others may not be aware of. I also have great natural strength which I believe has helped my game, especially my serve.
Through learning disability tennis, I have not only met others who have the same learning difficulties as I do, but some real friends who also love tennis. Being part of the learning disability team has helped me grow in confidence with my game and also my disability.
The Tennis Foundation now has a performance squad which I’m part of and I’d like to thank them for their support not only of me, but for learning disability tennis.
It’s a great honor for me to represent GB and for me to hopefully be able to inspire others to realise that just because you have a disability, doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve.