Tennis Foundation announces Deaflympic tennis team
Geraint Richards, the Tennis Foundation’s Head of Disability Player Performance, has announced the five players selected to represent Great Britain at the 22nd Deaflympics in Sofia, Bulgaria from 26th July to 4th August 2013.
Newly appointed Great Britain Deaf Tennis Coach Catherine Fletcher, a two-time Deaflympic medallist who won gold in the mixed doubles at the 2009 Taipei Deaflympics, is among the five players named as she heads into her fifth Deaflympics as an athlete.
The tennis players selected to be a part of the UK Deaf Sport delegation of 48 athletes across eight sports are:
- Bethany Brookes
- Catherine Fletcher
- Jack Clifton
- Lewis Fletcher
- Peter Willcox
Catherine Fletcher will compete in Sofia alongside her husband Lewis Fletcher, who will be contesting his second Deaflympics after reaching the bronze medal play-off in the men’s doubles in Taipei in 2009.
Peter Willcox, the eleven-time National men’s singles champion, will also be bidding for his first Deaflympic medal as he contests his second Deaflympics, having made his debut in Melbourne in 2005.
Bethany Brookes and Jack Clifton will both make their Deaflympics debuts in Sofia, having made their international debuts for Great Britain in 2011 at the Dresse and Maere Cup, the world team championships of deaf tennis, in Turkey.
Brookes went on to partner Catherine Fletcher to win the women’s doubles silver medal at the 2012 European Championships in Germany, where Brookes also won gold in the junior girls’ singles and Clifton won silver in the junior boy’s singles.
“I’m very excited by the blend of youth and experience in our team for the Sofia Deaflympics,” said Catherine Fletcher. “This is likely to be my last Deaflympics as a player, while Lewis and Peter are also both experienced international players. As the three of us have progressed over the years, we’ve been so excited about the future for the younger players, too, and both Bethany and Jack have made tremendous starts to their international careers over the last two years. We are all looking forward to doing Great Britain proud in Sofia.”
Richards added, “It’s a really exciting time for deaf tennis in this country and, as well as being at the very top of their game, this team are brilliant role models to show people of all abilities how much fun you can have playing tennis.”