Hi Everyone, I just wanted to touch base with you all to keep you updated on where I am at with regards to training and competitions in relation to the Corona Virus. I know its effecting everybody in some way, so my heart goes out to you all at this uncertain time.
As I am sure you have seen, endless amounts of sporting events have been cancelled across the world, and sadly for Wheelchair Tennis this is no different. Initially (a week ago) we had an announcement to say that all ITF Wheelchair Tennis tournaments would be postponed until the 20th April. Unfortunately, as of Friday this has now been extended to the 8th June. This is an incredibly disappointing and nerve-wracking time for me and all other players around the world, as this is the official cut-off date for qualification for the Paralympic Games. The ITF have said they are working hard to find a way to ensure the qualification for the games becomes as realistic as possible and that the current rules for this may change. If the rules were to stay as they are right now and they took the rankings from now (which have been frozen until the 8th June) I would actually be 3 places out from automatically qualifying. I of course am remaining as optimistic as possible and hopeful that whatever they decide to do re: points and qualification will affect me positively as its incredibly frustrating to have lost 4 months of tournaments where I would/could have gained points to qualify automatically.
I have lost 9 tournaments from my schedule where I could have gained points to move up those 3 valuable spaces. Here is a breakdown of my schedule before all tournaments got cancelled between March and June:
4th – 8th March – Biel-Bienne (Switzerland)
11th – 15th March – Alpi Del Mare (Italy)
18th – 21st March – Karvina (Czech Republic)
12th – 22nd April – Two tournaments in Turkey
26th April – 1st May – Vilamoura Open (Portugal)
11th – 16th May – Israel Open
18th – 23rd May – Barcelona Open (Spain)
25th – 30th May – France ITF 1
My tournament schedule had already been altered several times as the Corona Virus outbreak spread across the world. For example, I changed tournaments located in Japan and Korea for the 2 events in Turkey, which at the time was safe.
With regards to training, it has been business as usual for me and actually due to the extended training block we have been able to add more sessions and hit the gym that little bit harder which I’ve loved. As I am sure you all saw on Friday the Government has now closed down all sports centres and Gyms so I now have a structured training program to do at home, which involves things like, hand cycling, circuit training, weights, shadow swings and band work. In all honesty I feel much safer training from home now anyway as I am high risk due to my low immune system.
These are uncertain times for us all but lets hang in there together and support one another where we can. We all have a story to tell on how its effecting us and I think its important we keep this in mind and remember that we all feel the same. Big virtual hugs to you all, keep safe, Louise xxx