BOB RUSSELL

Player

Bob - 2_edited.jpg

MY STORY & MY NEW CHAIR...

"I'm a 74 year-old with a hemipelvectomy. I began playing wheelchair tennis about two years ago, but took a long break due to the pandemic. I'm divorced and live alone, so my life prior to tennis was missing a key element for a happy life - fun! I'm not very good yet, but that doesn't matter. Chasing a ball around the court in a wheelchair takes me out of my head and into my body, and that's a healthy thing. Laura Weygandt and the truly kind people at Western Wake Tennis Association and the Cary Tennis Park loaned me a tennis racquet and a chair and provided me with professional coaching. So after a month, I committed to the sport, and bought a decent racquet on Craigslist. Then I realized that the weakest part of my game was my ability to push my chair into position quickly, since I only have a power chair at home and can't afford a sport chair. So when Laura mentioned the possibility of getting a sport chair through a CAF grant, I jumped on it. The CAF website was a bit daunting for this dinosaur, but they patiently guided me through it until I'd ticked all the boxes. I'm always optimistic, but I honestly didn't think I had much of a chance of being given a grant. I was happily surprised a few months later when I got the award notification! So after a little more red tape, I was soon on my way to Atlanta to pick up my custom-fitted chair. It has already improved my game and my commitment to the game. Now I just need to practice."